The Halcyon’s Matt Ryan: ‘I’ve driven my friends crazy speaking American!’ (VIDEO)

The Halcyon’s Matt Ryan has swapped his Welsh accent for an American twang to play reporter Joe O’Hara in the period hotel drama

Welsh actor Matt Ryan went all out to perfect his American accent as he prepared for his role as US reporter Joe O’Hara in ITV’s wartime drama The Halcyon.

“I was calling all my friends in America to speak to them and driving them crazy. I was also driving all of my other friends here crazy by speaking in an American accent to them. They just said, ‘Give it up, you are Welsh!’" the Swansea-born actor told What's On TV.

"But it's something I wanted to get right and I worked really hard with a dialect coach.”

The series, which is set in a luxury London hotel, saw Joe have a rocky start at The Halcyon when he broadcast a potentially damaging story. However, he has quickly been accepted into the fold, particularly by assistant manager Emma Garland (Hermione Corfield).

Can he win her away from aristocratic Freddie Hamilton (Jamie Blackley)?

“There’s a love triangle there and some interesting relationships that he has that play out,” teased Matt. “He started off as an observer and he got the back up of all the staff. But as time has gone on he has become embedded in their world and enamoured of the British people for their courage and solidarity and their ability to keep calm and carry on.”

The actor, whose previous credits include Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour and US fantasy drama Constantine, loved smartening up to play the period role.

“What is funny that I hadn’t clean-shaved for six years before I did this so I got to see what my face looked like underneath my stubble,” he laughed. “They have got all these great trilbys and these big wide-shouldered double-breasted suits too, which are fun to dress up in. You feel a little bit gangster!’”

The Halcyon continues on Mondays on ITV at 9pm


Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.