Originally from Somerset, the smallest city in England, Ryan Davies has become an in-demand actor in both Britain and abroad. With every role he takes on, he manages to draw audiences into their story, creating an endearing character that audiences connect with. Every new project allows him to live his dream each day, one that he has had since childhood, and he has no plans on slowing down.
“I love starting from scratch with a new role. It's a blank page and the early days of finding your way into the character, using your imagination and the script to create a fully formed character. It's challenging but fun, and we get to do it over and over,” he said.
With many new roles to soon start filming, 2019 promises to be an exciting year for Davies. He will soon begin shooting the WWII period drama Grace and Danger and has two projects on the go with Lazy Bear Productions. The first, Deathly Silence, is a docudrama series in which Davies plays the iconic silent movie star Thomas Ince. His next project with Lazy Bear is The Basement, and Davies will be playing the lead in this highly-anticipated horror.
“I'm so impressed with this story because it will constantly keep the audience guessing as to where it's headed. Just when you think you know where you are, bang, it pulls the rug out from under you again, and the writers have managed to breathe new life into some of the oldest scare tactics in the business, which I think fans of the horror genre will love. It also contains a set piece that will haunt you for days after you've watched it. The horror enthusiasts want to be scared and entertained in equal measure, and I believe with this script the writers have succeeded in doing just that,” he said.
The intention is to premiere The Basement at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival next year, followed by other renowned festivals like Fantastic Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and FrightFest in the United Kingdom. Audiences should definitely keep an eye out for the film, which is sure to be both terrifying and entertaining.
With all of the upcoming excitement in his career, it’s important to remember Davies past accolades. He has made quite the name for himself in the British entertainment industry, starring in television programs like Da Vinci’s Demons and Horizons, as well as acclaimed films including Wolves and The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box.
The highlight of his career, however, came earlier last year with his film Black Mountains. It was the script that initially drew Davies to the project. It tells the story of Isaac, who, in the hope of escaping the ghost of his broken relationship and the dark sides in him that are responsible for it, travels through the Welsh countryside. When he finds accommodation in a remote bed and breakfast hidden in the hills, he thinks he has arrived in the right place to spend some time reflecting on the mess he left behind, but his stay takes an unexpected turn.
“At the film’s heart is a character who is so morally conflicted that the audience is torn between feeling compassion for his grief, and revulsion for what he's done, and the ending is very ambiguous. Hopefully audiences will come out with really conflicted emotions, and it's these films and stories I've always found the most interesting, the ones that aren't black and white and can send viewers off into the night disagreeing on how they perceived that characters’ motives. I wanted this film to leave you feeling like you'd intruded on someone’s life, I didn't ever want you to feel comfortable,” said Davies.
In Black Mountains, Davies plays Nathan Dyer, a conflicted man. He was responsible for his wife’s death and struggled to accept and process this information whilst dealing with the grief he was experiencing. It was imperative to the film’s success that the audience still empathized with Nathan, almost feeling like they were complicit in the keeping of his secret, and Davies rose to the challenge. In the final scene when Nathan breaks down and confesses, the sheer outpouring of all the emotional turmoil he's been suppressing is the best piece of acting Davies has done to date.
“The complexity of the character and the sheer range of emotions he went through was a gift for me as an actor to play with. The director made it such a collaborative process and allowed me to experiment freely and take Nathan in the direction of my choosing, and this freedom was ultimately why I believe I was able to deliver such a truthful performance. Also, it was a small crew and we all lived together on location for two weeks, that really brought us all closer together and, in my opinion, was one of the main reasons for the calibre of the film we ended up with,” said Davies.
With Davies’ outstanding performance, Black Mountains has made its way to several prestigious film festivals. It premiered at Max Ophuls Film Festival in Germany recently and was the Board of Directors Award Winner at The North Carolina Film Festival 2018. Davies performance was recently nominated for "Best Supporting Actor" at the Fusion Film Festival in London in February. The film is also entered into many more festivals in the coming year.
Be sure to check out Black Mountains.
Photo by Carl Proctor