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Bad Boy Next Door: Rhys Ward

words by KAREN CRUZ

Rhys Ward plays the “bad boy” role so well that it’s quite a surprise to discover how engaging and genuine he actually is. A promising Young Hollywood up-and-comer, he started acting as a child in a camp production of Peter Pan (“I had one line and I screwed it up”), before eventually enrolling in business school in Toronto as a way to get to the big city, where a lot of productions film. During his second or third year, he booked his first movie, Hallmark’s The Good Witch’s Family, subsequently dropped out of business school, and his life as a working actor has been nonstop ever since. Recently, he wrapped The Returned, a remake of the French TV show of the same name, and of course I couldn’t wait to ask him all about it…

Tell me a little about your character in The Returned.

His name is Adam Darrow, and he’s an expert hunter with a very dark family past.  I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say because it might spoil a few secrets.  We filmed it in Vancouver.  It’s really beautiful where we shot it, and it’s a very similar setting to the French version: basically a small town where very strange things start to happen.  People that have been dead for five, ten, some thirty years, just suddenly come back to life, and their loved ones have to deal with what is like the opposite of grief and adjusting to their return.

You film a lot in Canada, your home country.  Do you prefer living in Canada or LA, which is where you now call home?

I think I’ve really come to terms with really liking LA more. I was a little hesitant at first when I officially got here in January.  I got my own apartment and stuff and I wasn’t loving it that much because it can be really lonely in the city.  But since I got back from The Returned, everyone from the show has been awesome.  The majority of them live here mostly, so I have them, and I’ve made a bunch of friends.  I really like it now since we have been back.   I just feel a lot more comfortable here.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I’m a huge movie buff! I saw two just yesterday: Nightcrawler and Before I Go to Sleep.

Speaking of films, you have an impressive set of TV credits: Heartland, The LA Complex, and Nikita, to name a few.  Would you prefer to do more films or TV?

Well TV is cool, [because] you can expand your character.  You can work with the same cast and crew five to seven months at a time, and with film, depending on what the film is like, it’s usually no more than three months’ work.  I would love to do more film, although I’m really enjoying TV right now.  It’s been great practice.  You learn a lot being on the set of TV shows, and you just get to spend so much more time on your character, developing it, arcing it and [working on] your relationships to the other characters on the show and how they would react to different situations.  I love TV, but would like to do more film.  Absolutely!

Is there anyone you haven’t worked with but would like to work with in the future?

Tilda Swinton,  Benedict Cumberbatch, and Terrence Malick.  I love his films.

What has been your favorite part thus far?

The Returned is number one for sure, and my second favorite was a small part – and that was probably my first cool movie – called And Now a Word from Our Sponsor.  It was with one of my favorite actresses, Parker Posey, and Bruce Greenwood, a well-known Canadian actor.  I basically get to play this douchebag boyfriend, and that was fun!  He’s this little shithead, and I rape his daughter.

Whoa! You seem to always get the bad boy roles!

I feel like that is usually my thing.  I usually play drug addicts, killers, or douchebag boyfriends.  That’s probably my top three hits.  I don’t play the “boy next door” very well.  I don’t know why.  I try, I really do, but it just doesn’t work.

What kind of part would you like to play that you haven’t yet?

I would love to play a more normal person, but I find the darker roles more interesting than the leading man characters.  The twisted characters are more fun.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

That’s a hard one! Well, hopefully by then I’ll be working with Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch.  And maybe playing an elf on Lord of the Rings. I just really wanna play an elf.

Ok, random facts: What’s your favorite color, and what’s one thing about yourself that people wouldn’t know off hand about you?

One random fact about me is I like to blast Marilyn Manson while I drive. Oh, and my favorite color is black.

Hmmm…Maryilyn Manson and black as a favorite color? Sounds like Rhys Ward definitely has more of a dark side to him. Catch more of it on The Returned, coming soon on the A&E network.


photography ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC www.alekandsteph.com

styling WARREN ALFIE BAKER www.warrenalfiebaker.com


special thanks to YVETTE POOLE and L’CHERIYVE STUDIO www.lcheriyve.com