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Swansea actor is rated as better than Keanu Reeves in new Constantine

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

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A SWANSEA actor has been hailed as being better than Hollywood star Keanu Reeves in a top new series.

Matt Ryan has won all the plaudits for his lead role in the NBC supernatural drama Constantine.

The 33-year-old former Gorseinon College student, who has films Layer Cake and Flypaper as well as video game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag to his credits, will play John Constantine who has battled the devil his whole life and is about to retire from the fight until the daughter of an old friend is threatened.

The show is based on the hit DC comic Hellblazer and its executive producer is David S Goyer, the creator of Da Vinci's Demons, which has been shot at different locations in Swansea Bay.

Reviewer Gregory Ellwood said Keanu Reeves's casting in the character was "grossly lacking" and said Matt Ryan, who was also the understudy to Jude Law in Hamlet and won a place at the highly respected Royal Shakespeare Company, was perfect in the role.

He said: "Fast forward almost a decade (since Reeves took on the role) and it appears director Neil Marshall, show creator Daniel Cerone and star Matt Ryan have finally delivered the Constantine we've been waiting for.

"Granted, it's based on just three 30 minutes or so of footage, but Marshall, who directed the very memorable Blackwater episode of Game of Thrones, appears to have brought the pilot a strong cinematic look along with some much needed humour.

"Plus, after watching this sneak (preview) it's hard to imagine any other actor besides Ryan coming this close to pulling off Constantine's look and — whew — thank God they didn't drop his English accent."

Swansea production designer Ed Thomas, who has worked alongside David S Goyer, added: "It's great to have an actor out there from Swansea flying the flag.

"The more people in Hollywood that are aware of the film industry in Swansea the better — he's a good advocate for us."

When Matt, who went to drama school in the Old Vic in Bristol, was starting out as an actor he said: "I hope I will be in a position where I will be able to make decisions as to which parts I play."

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