Constantine's Matt Ryan on the Fate of His Bedeviled Alter Ego (and His Show)

Constantine Season 1 Preview Matt Ryan

INXS sang that every single one of us has a devil inside, and boy, does John Constantine know it.

This Friday’s episode of NBC’s Constantine (8/7c) finds the self-proclaimed master of the dark arts inhabited by a demon he summoned to do battle with an even more heinous baddie.

When the initial threat passes, though, John is left with an otherworldly co-pilot who doesn’t want to leave.

Exorcist, heal thyself?

“John has to push himself to an extreme and really go somewhere he doesn’t want to to do this, to save his own life,” star Matt Ryan previews.

He adds: “It doesn’t go very well, put it that way.”

Ryan chatted with TVLine about Constantine’s latest dilemma, the series’ shortened season and the cast’s efforts to cope with what may well be the end of their show.

TVLINE | The last time we saw Constantine, he was bleeding in a sewer, a demon was bearing down on him, and he had been shot by one of his old lovers. I’m imagining that we pick up from there?
Yes, we do. Episodes 8 and 9… are probably my one or two of my favorites.

TVLINE | John summons a demon to go into him to save his life. Can you tease how that goes for him?
It’s interesting [for] an exorcist, who knows all about demons and excising demons and managing them, for him to actually have one inside himself. The most interesting to see is John going through this struggle knowing he only has a certain amount of time before this thing is going to take over him, and then what are his options to survive that? You see him really struggling with that.

TVLINE | It looks like the makeup in this episode is slightly more intense than what you usually have to go through. But maybe not as bad as the pilot
In the pilot it was a demon showing John what he might become. Here what you have is actually John going through this transformation. So yeah, it still gets pretty gnarly.

TVLINE | The episode’s synopsis says that Zed is involved in trying to save John. Does she physically come to Mexico City?
She does, yes.

Constantine Season 1 Preview Matt RyanTVLINE | So that means she and Anne Marie are in each other’s proximity. Can you tell me how that goes?
They do cross paths. Obviously, Anne Marie’s history with John is very unique. She felt she had to make this sacrifice to save kids, but then also she does have a conscience. What happens is they enlist her to help John get through it. It’s like all of the team coming together to help John get through the thing. That relationship is an interesting one: two women from completely different parts of John’s life interacting.

TVLINE | Two women who want, or have wanted, his action at some point.
Exactly, yeah. [Laughs] There’s a great moment yet – I don’t know if I should say it, actually… You see these two women, and John sitting in the middle with a demon inside of him. That’s really funny.

TVLINE | We know that Felix Faust is coming, and in the next episode, there’s a big coma creeping across Brooklyn, and Chas’ daughter is involved. What can you tease?
John has a previous relationship with Felix Faust, but he doesn’t know that Felix Faust is responsible for the goings-on in Brooklyn and New York. The episode really is about Chas’ backstory, and how Chas came about his powers then, and John’s relationship early on with Chas. We have a little flashback which explains a few things about Chas and John and that relationship. Also, [we learn about] John’s relationship with Chas’ family and Chas’ wife not liking John enough and how they have to negotiate that. We really do dig into Chas’ backstory a little bit and get underneath all of that.

TVLINE | Have you wrapped Episode 13?
We have wrapped, yes.

TVLINE | What was the mood on set as you shot that episode, knowing that it may be the last?
It’s always sad when you come to the end of any job. But there was a real kind of upbeat spirit as well and [executive producer] Daniel [Cerone] was on set, and it was great. We all kind of dived into that last episode and gave it our all and just enjoyed it. It was great.

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47 Comments
  1. Hope it gets renewed. It’s better than most of the crap they have on.

    • Nick says:

      I’m inclined to disagree. In fact, as of right now it’s the worst comic book show on TV. It’s fine, but absolutely nothing special. Gotham, SHIELD, Arrow, The Flash, Walking Dead…all of those shows are better than Constantine.

      • I would agree that it’s not the best, but I wouldn’t say it’s the worst and I definitely would not say Gotham is better (seriously?). Watch the episode with the fallen angel (#7, Blessed Are The Damned). That one is representative of how good the show can be. SHIELD has its moments, but I’d say they have a lot of crap episodes that don’t live up to its potential. Matt Ryan has more presence than both Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin put together. The Flash focuses too much on the lame love triangle and not enough on the show’s biggest asset, Tom Cavanagh. I love Arrow, especially the last half of last season, but I’m kind of losing interest right now. I watch all of these and Constantine and The Walking Dead are the only ones I actually miss during hiatus.

        • I would actually say the episode before hiatus, The Saint of Last Resorts, would be the perfect episode to showcase what makes this special, from the characters to the premise.

        • Nick says:

          Oh I’ve seen every episode of it. Here are the positives:

          1. Really high production value, visuals are stunning
          2. Matt Ryan

          I mean, I can’t speak to taste so if you like it, good for you! I disagree completely about Arrow and The Flash. SHIELD is excellent, even if it took awhile to get started, and it’s been nothing BUT excellent since the middle of season 1. And Gotham has its problems, too (like WAY too many characters) but it’s way better (to me) than Constantine.

          I wanted to like Constantine, and after the pilot I was hopeful, but it’s just been downhill from there.I’m a Supernatural fan, but Constantine is not different enough for me to care.

          • The only episode of SHIELD I really liked this season was #4, Face My Enemy. Everything else this season hasn’t really lived up to the potential of the show, other than some good fight scenes that make Arrow’s look pretty stupid. Gotham’s problems are more than just too many characters. Such as most of their characters being a waste of screen time, especially Jim Gordon, a generic hero cop if I’ve ever seen one. If they made the whole show about only Bruce, Selina and Penguin, it would be a considerable improvement. Constantine is far from a perfect show, but they nailed casting the lead and they do have excellent production values. Given the time to find itself, it could very well become a cult classic.

      • Arrow and Walking Dead suck right now! And I think Constantine is just as good as Flash, Shield and Gotham.

    • NBC has renewed worse than Constantine… I’m looking at Grimm, Parks & Rec, and Community (not that Community was bad but the ratings were terrible).

    • veniascott says:

      I agree I hope it gets second chance maybe a shot season is what it needs until a show catches on. Network think every show has to shoot out of a cannon, that is not always so, it takes time for a show to catch on , breaking bad did not catch on in one day , and I love matt ryan he is great on this show, give it a chance NBC

  2. Daz says:

    The CW should pick it up, if NBC decide to cancel this show. With the new Vixen cartoon in developement that’s set on Arrow/Flashverse and based around magic, I think Constantine will fit nicely in this world.

    • Brian Bauer says:

      CW might not want it since it’s similar to Supernatural. Having multiple shows with the same premise? That’s CBS.

      • squeeb says:

        They have THE ORIGINALS, which is a spin-off of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES==isn’t that basically two shows based on the same premise? And since when did having two shows with the same premise keep a network from picking up any shows? That said, it kind of sucks to see Constantine, which I’ve become a fan of, end (without NBC giving it any kid of send-off, and nothing to replace it with except DATELINE shows) because there was so much potential for it to keep going for another season—I would have loved to see another big face-off bwt Constantine and Papa Midnight (the actor who portrays him—Michael James Shaw, has such a memorable and strong presence, he should have been in more than 3 episodes—plus, Papa Midnight was one of Constantine’s most formidable and dangerous adversaries—they were both well-matched in terms of fearlessness and attitude.) Oh,well—-here’s hoping it gets picked up by Syfy.

    • I have been suspecting a crossover between Constantine and Flash/Arrow, considering Constantine’ Rising Darkness, Flash’s “Red Skies” headlines in Wells’ future paper, and Arrow’s OMAC all play a part in DC Comics’ Crisis events.

  3. Joey Padron says:

    Good interview. Hope the show gets renewed for season 2. It’s a good pair with Grimm.

  4. Flavorabledeez says:

    Pack it in and sell it to HBO so we can see how John Constantine really is. This character deserves a better and far grittier show than what network TV can ever give him.

  5. Chris says:

    Kimberly Roots, how could you tell Matt Ryan that his show “Constantine” might get cancelled? You don’t know how the show will do in its new timeslot! HOW VERY DISPRECTFUL OF YOU TO TELL HIM THE SHOW MIGHT BE CANCELLED!!!!!!!

    • I would give Kimberly Roots a break because she never said the show might be cancelled, she only said it might be the show’s last episode and that’s something all shows who shoot their last episode before getting renewed has to go through. So, really, she should’ve asked what was it like filming the last episode without the knowledge you’d ve back next season. But that is just semantics.

  6. This show did not get the love it deserved, all because fanboys threw a hissy fit when he wasn’t smoking like a chimney in the very first episode (but he smokes plenty in later episodes), and non-fanboys didn’t want to give another comic book show a chance. But, whatever, their loss because this is a solid program.

    • lechatnoir says:

      Paddie ,
      The production just wasn’t solid. The competition is fierce as hell . And this isn’t a show they could have sold overseas. It was just plain mediocre with subpar acting and cheap ass CG. Ugh! I just got done watching episode 5 . ugh! terrible. I tried to like it but it truly felt like pulling a tooth .

      • Constantine is on par with Supernatural and Grimm, even better at times, and the acting is better than anything on Arrow.

        • Ray says:

          Disagree. Constantine is the pits. I was appalled that it actually got WORSE than the pilot with the miner’s episode. Good riddance.

      • squeeb says:

        What? No way was this show cheap—it’s said to be one of NBC’s ore expensive shows, and it actually got better as if went along. Obviously you didn’t bother to watch the whole season past the pilot–do that,please.

  7. Carla Krae says:

    Excited to have Constantine (and Grimm) back!

  8. Ray says:

    Constantine has been canceled. Anything to the contrary from the actors, producers or network is just posturing.

  9. Ray Monde says:

    Guys, the word CANCELLATION is in the WEB ADDRESS OF THIS INTERVIEW. http://tvline.com/2015/01/15/constantine-season-1-matt-ryan-series-cancellation/

  10. Katherine215 says:

    Love this show and I’m so disappointed it didn’t get the viewers it needed. Still holding out hope it might get 13 episode seasons like Hannibal or something but I know it’s probably futile. :(

  11. Lady says:

    That’s too bad – hopefully another station will pick it up. Love it.

    • Jerry O'Flynn says:

      Why would another station pick it up? Its numbers didn’t justify keeping it on the air at one of the biggest networks, where it had the opportunity to get on the most screens, and critics didn’t particularly like it either– Entertainment Weekly named it one of the top-three worst shows of the year. Why would anyone elsewhere want to pay for its budget? Constantine wasn’t a cheap show to make, it just looked cheap.

      • squeeb says:

        So what if critics didn’t like it—that was when the show first started out—-it got way better as it went along,and hell no, it didn’t look cheap at all—once again, somebody who obviously didn’t watch the whole season popping off about it again.

  12. Pat says:

    I cannot wait for tonight to come, so I can watch this show. When I saw the first episode, I was not to impressed but decided to watch the next one which seemed to be better. I must say for myself, that each episode was getting stronger and better and now I am waiting with great anticipation for the return of it, tonight. Great pairing on Friday nights, with my other favorite show, Grimm.

  13. Jennifer Sturdivant says:

    I have really enjoyed this show. It’s great and pairs nicely with Grimm. A bit of a supernatural Friday night lineup as it were. I hope NBC keeps it.

  14. Television says:

    I love this show and had no idea what to expect. Really great show, keep it up!

  15. jmactwstdbunny says:

    They’re rebooting Heroes but they won’t order another season of Constantine? That shows the kind of rut NBC is in. Grimm has gone so far downhill I gave up on it 2 years ago, I hope like hell they renew Constantine! It’s the only show I want to watch on Friday nights and I’m not a comic book based series fan. Goodluck, Constantine!

  16. DarkDefender says:

    Each week this show grows on me. I never could get into Dracula and this seems a good fit for the time slot. I hope they give it a renewal.. Even if it is limited to another 13.
    Tonight’s episode was really well done. Matt Ryan should get a performer of the week nod… :)

  17. Cindy says:

    I hope it gets renewed. I really like the show and the actors are great.

  18. kathy says:

    loe Constantine the acting a little overboard at times are fins actors love the demons of the damn as well they should renew it another year not a lot of people know it exist…very poor promotion with Grimm and Constantine if you did not know the date it was returning tyou would never know from channel 4..I got the info on the internet if they want people to see the show promote it

  19. DD 1942 says:

    please renew Constantine. Great show, and if you have read the graphic novels, this show captures the essence better than almost all of the comic to screen shows.

  20. Damn commercial television! I am a huge fan of the comic series and this show! Just when I really love something…they try to kill it. Please NBC let it live!