This page was originally begun on Geocities, where it was vaporized by the Yahoo!kuza, so we are now in the process of "re-building" it here onto Tripod, where we can once again update it, but the photos and news on our Geocities homestead are now gone completely, so please bear with us while we try to re-insert photos of Ryan and catch you up on his life . . .
Chris McKenna, who co-starred with Ryan as "Joey Buchanan on "One Life to Live" when Ryan was playing Gay teen Billy Douglas, told our intrepid film reviewer, The Shea-Man, that many fans of OLTL have told him that they thought that Joey and Billy should have had at least one kiss during the Billy storyline. Alas for the fans, that was too much for ABC (then), and Ryan had to wait until 54 for his first guy-guy kiss (with best friend Breckin Meyer. As Ryan's fans know (and as our reviewer pointed out), that was too much for Disney and they re-shot most of the movie, leaving Breckin and Ryan's long-awaited (and much-publicized!) moment on the cutting room floor. Only those who have been privleged to see the original director's cut have been able to see their brief, almost chaste kiss.
Chris McKenna, for his part, will be appearing soon in King of the Ants, directed by horror-meister Stuart Gordon. It looks good. It premieres at Seattle on June 13, 2003.
For a peek at the trailer for King of the Ants and information on how to buy tickets for it at the Seattle Film Festival, click HERE. Be warned that it is both violent and sexy, so don't go there if that would offend you, and remember that Ryan doesn't appear in the film, but his "One Life to Live" friend, Chris, does. 'Nuff said.
We had very great expectations of Mark Christopher's film about the great '70s disco, Studio 54, but then Miramax's corporate parent, The Walt Disney Company, allegedly had a major hissy fit over it and they proceeded to re-film and re-edit much of the movie, producing a horrible mish-mash that prompted our On-Line Reviewer to ask, "Studio 54, Where Are You?" Well, a quick peek at the Internet Movie Database listing for what we call "Walt Disney's 54" shows that there are MANY different cuts of this film, with different running times and different ratings, and all of them presumably as awful as the version released in the United States. Well, someone managed to go through all of that footage and tried to re-assemble what is purportedly "the Director's Cut" of 54, or at least a rough cut that is close to Mark Christopher's original vision for the film, and we were privileged to see it, and our On-Line Reviewer is going to review it here, on Tripod, in a separate and distinct review from his previously published review of "Walt Disney's 54."
Our On-Line Reviewer, Christian Leopold Shea, sez that both Salma Hayek and Ryan's real-life friend Breckin Meyer (who plays Salma's husband in the film) would have become major stars if Disney had not chopped Mark Chrisopher's film to pieces and then added a lot of irrelevant material to make Ryan's character, Shane O'Shay, a hero instead of a villain. The grim irony is that the film works better with Breckin playing the good guy and Ryan playing the bad boy, and . . . SURPRISE! . . . Ryan is now leaning more and more to edgier film roles which give him a greater scope for his acting abilities. Anybody can put on a white hat and be a good guy; it takes talent to be a convincing bad guy.
(Actually, he already wrote it, but someone accidently deleted the whole file one fine morning at 3:00 A.M. and he is going to have to re-write the whole thing. What we can tell you, based upon his semi-coherent screaming, is that Breckin Meyer really is the closest thing to "a good guy" in what we call "The Reel 54," and that the only actor in the whole film who benefitted professionally from "Walt Disney's 54" was Mike Meyers, whose characterization of 54's owner, Steve Rubell, was greatly expanded -- at the expense of the original stars, Ryan, Breckin Meyer, and Salma Hayek.) Neve Campbell's role as the actress whom Shane idolizes was greatly increased and new scenes were added between her and Ryan, but they are almost uniformally disappointing; Neve Cambell looks as though she knows that she is doing schlock work, just because she had a contractual obligation to do it, and we're sure she probably would have been much happier with the much-smaller, far more tantalizing role she had in "The Reel 54."
A very difficult film for some audiences because of its graphic violence and adult themes, Little Boy Blue was a break-out dramatic role for Ryan. Unable to maintain a normal relationship with his girlfriend because of his abusive home life, Ryan plays a teenager who is forced by his father to have sex -- at gunpoint -- with his mother; if he fails to perform, she and the family's two much younger boys will be savagely beaten by their psychotic "Daddy." Daddy Dearest is a pragmatist and has no compuction about killing anyone -- anyone -- who pries too closely into his family's secret life.
Ryan's character is no loser, however: he is a fantastic baseball pitcher (but with apparently no future since he is trapped in his trailer-trash existence), he has a well-to-do girlfriend (with whom he dares not have sex lest he be unable to perform on demand for his parents), and one of the local cops and the local mail carrier are both sympathetic and strong supports for him. What he doesn't realize, however, is that the secret is much more complex than the incest and brutality which he must endure every week. He himself is the key to a deeper, darker, more murderous mystery wrapped up in the children's book, "Little Boy Blue," a phrase which his vicious father uses to goad and taunt him and make him feel inadequate (despite the fact that he is the only person capable of holding the dysfunctional family together . . . and alive).
Probably a no-no for young children, Little Boy Blue shows off Ryan in fine form and is worth watching by adults and teenagers who can handle such strong subject matter. Be warned, however, that one viewing may not be enough to understand all of the film's deepest mysteries: two or three viewings, a week or more apart, may be needed for the significance of certain scenes and some symbols to become clear. One hint which will save the viewer from confusion (it's not a spoiler) is that Ryan does play a double role in the movie, but the handling of his second persona is so deft that only a real Ryan fan would pick up on who it is that he is playing; if you think you're seeing Ryan where he shouldn't be, you are; if you don't notice him in his small secondary part, don't worry, it's not a major plot point, it is just an extra touch of frisson in a truly creepy scene.
For a long time we maintained a running joke on Ryan's page on our GeoCities homestead in which we quoted Matthew Perry's Visitor Book comment that we had a nice site, "but not enough nudity." Matthew wasn't talking about Ryan, of course, but so many people came to our site to see the hot, hot, HOT shots of Ryan that we had, that we put Matt's comment on Ryan's page as a joke.
In the spirit of good humour and fellowship, we print herewith what could very well have been Ryan's response. Of course, for all we know, it was a response to our teasing: