TV Quickfire: Ryan Thomas on his move from Coronation Street to Neighbours
He's earned his stripes in soapland – but after a stint in Corrie and, soon, Neighbours, Ryan Thomas (33) has his sights set on a gritty drama. That's assuming his brother isn't up for the same audition, he tells Gemma Dunn
YOUR CHARACTER, RAFAEL, IS ABOUT TO ARRIVE IN NEIGHBOURS – TELL US A BIT ABOUT HIM.
Rafael turns up on Ramsay Street with no friends and no association with anybody else. He's a very suspicious, confused boy and no-one really knows what he's doing there. His background? His mum was in a fire in Brazil when she was working there. He was 10 years old and he and his mother were badly burnt. He's come looking for answers, revenge, maybe?
THERE ARE RUMOURS OF A LOVE INTEREST, TOO...
The point of Rafael's journey is not to interact with anybody else. He's there to do a job and that's to find answers as to why he's got scars on his back and why these things happened to his family. I think he gets messed up in something that he doesn't necessarily want to be involved in [and] yes, he does have feelings for someone else, but he finds it very hard to open up.
DID YOU GROW UP WATCHING NEIGHBOURS?
Everyone in our era did. It was something that I grew up with – the ritual of getting in from school and turning on the telly and watching Neighbours. It's the only [soap] that I can cross over to. I know people have done it before in the past, but it just doesn't feel right going anywhere else. My heart is in Corrie.
THIS SUMMER WILL MARK TWO YEARS SINCE YOU LEFT THE COBBLES. WHAT DO YOU THINK CORRIE FANS WILL MAKE OF YOUR TRANSITION?
They're going to find it quite crazy, I think. Because it's not Jason and it's new. To do this transition from where I've come from to here is a great idea for Neighbours. They've done a marvellous job making it happen.
HOW DID YOU ENJOY YOUR TIME IN AUSTRALIA – COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF RELOCATING?
It's a great way of life! The amazing thing about working somewhere like that is when you finish work at 6 o'clock in the evening, you say, 'Should we go and watch the sunset on the beach?' It's a different way of life and it's a better way of life, because you're in the sun, you're outside, you've got a lot of beaches. If it wasn't for [my daughter] Scarlett, it would be a lovely opportunity, yeah.
YOUR CHARACTER ONLY SPANS 18 EPISODES IN NEIGHBOURS – WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
I'd like to do something with my brother [former Emmerdale star, Adam Thomas (29)] this year. That'd be amazing. Me and Adam are back to the drawing board, that's what happens now, your auditions start in January, you're up and down to London, and you never know what's round the corner. Last year I didn't know I'd be doing Bear Grylls and I didn't know I'd be doing Neighbours. These things just happen.
CAN BEING IN DIRECT COMPETITION WITH ADAM GET A BIT AWKWARD?
I've had a nightmare. He's the most super-talented guy I've ever come across, so I'm finished now. If I see him in an audition, I'm going to have to walk out because I'm not going to get the job. But yeah, I'm so proud of Adam. He's absolutely amazing. I'm buzzing for him.
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM ROLE?
They're making some amazing dramas on television at the moment. Last year I watched Our Girl and that show is unbelievable. I'm not necessarily saying I want to be in it, [but] something along those lines would be amazing – that sort of gritty, raw, real drama.
:: A Neighbours one-hour special, Hit And Run, airs at 10pm on Channel 5 tonight.