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Tuesday 28 March 2023

Ryan's Acid Attack!! What Happens Next?- Corrie Blog Interviews Ryan Prescott

Well, Corrie had us all hoodwinked there, didn't they? Being a privileged Coronation Street fan, I had a sneak preview of last night's attack scenes nearly two weeks ago which I had to keep a secret. I did it though and here is my latest cast interview to prove it. I'm yet to see the episode as I was too busy writing this!!

Settling down for a zoom session press conference with ITV Corrie, they opened the press event (before a trio of cast interviews) with those dark and harrowing scenes, which I was not expecting! Feeling genuine shock, and slightly mortified, I immediately thought of the aftermath and the future for the Ibiza DJ / quasi-son of Michelle Connor / lovelorn ex of Alya. Will Michelle come back, is this Ryan's exit storyline? The answer is a resounding NO to both questions, but read on and learn more about how actor Ryan Prescott readied himself for a character-changing event. 

Hi Ryan! 

We've just watched the acid attack and the shower scenes. What were they like to film? 

They were actually quite fun, the whole block (of filming) was actually quite fun, as Andrew Still said (Justin) it had a different energy to it. We all had an urgency to tell the story, and although everyone was serious about what they were doing, there was a lightness to the environment and respect for it. Charlie (Charlotte Jordan - Daisy) made it easy for me, she’s a fantastic actor and we work quite well together. For the acid attack scenes themselves, we used special cameras that can film 100 frames per minute, which allows us to speed up the material, and dub the audio to it, then slow it down - to give it this visceral and guttural effect. It's like when you are involved in a dramatic incident and everything goes slowly and blurry it kind of shifts in your mind. We wanted to add that to the look of things. For the shower scenes themselves, l underestimated how cold the water was going to be - no acting was being done there. That was just trying to breathe for about 5 -6 hours (!) That was cold water because they didn't want steam to invade the shots!

How did you get yourself into the mindset of filming these scenes? 

Actors can talk about processes and such but I think this goes down a different route. You've got to shift yourself into a mindset of emotional availability and suggestion within the given circumstance and commit 100% given to it, and bounce off of your co-cast. 

Ryan Prescott with ASTI Patron Princess Anne

Coronation Street has worked with ASTI and the Katie Piper Foundation for this storyline. What kind of research have you done yourself? 

I spoke to an acid-attack survivor with a great warrior spirit, a really great guy. I was in conversation with him and his psychotherapist about a very long road to recovery. He had such a story to tell, really brutal. You do your research, go down the rabbit hole so to speak, and do your reading. You can do all the reading in the world but it can't make you comprehend the violence behind this and its extreme nature. Instead, you try your best to engage in the issues around it. You have to try and relate to it on an emotional level, imagining how it would affect your own life and lean into your imagination. That's what you've got to do. 

When Ryan is first hit with the liquid, does he know it's acid? 

After just watching the scenes back from the final edit, there are a few seconds when you wouldn't know what it was. It takes a couple of seconds for sulphuric acid (which is what this is) for it to hit the skin and start eroding it. There was a moment that we shot where Ryan gathers that this isn’t what he would have assumed, but we went straight to the action in the final edit. It’s just on the edge of reality, and a thing that people don't need to see that realisation. It's a fantastic edit, and I guess he would have thought it was vodka or something at the moment, Mainly because it's difficult to anticipate this level of hate and violence. We don't really like to look at these things, the fact that one person could do this to another person. In society, we want to look away from these things, we like to turn away from them and not look at them head-on. It's because it's scary, it is scary, which is why we wanted to do this storyline in the first place. There were 300 acid attacks in Manchester in 2021 alone. Not televised nor on social media - it's far more prevalent than you'd expect. 

A little bit further into the episode, Ryan goes to the hospital, and there is a little scene at the end where Daisy visits him, feeling bereft with guilt. Ryan then breaks down to Daisy. How is he feeling at this point? 

At this point, he's starting to realise that his life will never be the same again. He's trying to cling to anything he can to deny this new reality; his relationship with Alya and this new possibility with Crystal in Ibiza. He sees these things slipping away yet tries to keep hold of them in the face of this new reality and tries to understand the gravity of his wounds and what has happened. 

Does he feel any resentment towards Daisy following the attack? 

No, he knows it's not her fault and she's been so consistent with his aid, and she was the reason he ended up in the hospital - it saved most of his face. He doesn't blame Daisy. I think if he has any resentment or anyone he blames, it's Justin.  

What long-term effects will it have on the character? 

It will definitely change him and how he interacts with the world. The difficulty within the soap parameter is to show some longevity and the reality of these life-changing injuries and how it affects acid-attack survivors. The restoration period of recovery is long, if not lifelong, with trauma therapy and learning to deal with people looking at you and just trying to accept that people react differently to you. It's the first thing you see in the morning, and how you identify yourself. When that changes it will change your whole world. He has to look at trying to get back to the reality that he once had. Corrie has had prosthetics made on my face by an incredible make-up artist and we had a mould made and then created pieces for layered skin and scarring. We had to focus on stages of skin healing, for continuity and the like. Corrie’s makeup team have had to work with me, with different directors, and in different production blocks. The make-up takes about an hour to come on and then get off but it’s getting faster! It's a huge job to undertake but they've smashed it!   


Thank you, Ryan! 


What are your thoughts on last night's acid-attack episode? Tweet us @rybazoxo and @corostreetblog to let us know! 

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Joseph said...

Interesting story to do. I hope that if they're going to have long-term facial scarring, that it won't go the way Todd's facial disfigurement did (remember that?). I'm a bit torn - a part of me thinks it would have been more interesting to give Daisy this story, but Ryan (and Ryan Prescott) has always been unfairly underused so I'm glad he's finally getting a story.

Anonymous said...

At least they mentioned Michelle and came up with a good reason for her not coming ( unless it's plastic surgery again). And what about Ryan's birth mother? Does he have any contact? Must say he's become a good character recently and I like his supportive but platonic friendship with Daisy. I hope this gets him back with Alya.


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