Mr. Inbetween‘s Ray Shoesmith (Scott Ryan) is back in our lives as season 3 premiered this week. The loving father with a slight tendency to use violence in his work environment is a wonderful treat from our Australian brethren. Scott Ryan was kind enough to chat with our Gadi Elkon pre-pandemic about the hit TV show.
In season three of Mr Inbetween, Ray’s world has contracted. Family life looks a little different as he quietly mourns the loss of Bruce, while figuring out how to care for his aging father, Bill (Kenny Graham). As Brittany (Chika Yasumura) grows into a young woman, she draws further away from Ray and comes closer to discovering the truth about who he really is. Things seem good with Gary (Justin Rosniak) and Dave (Matt Nable), however since severing ties with former boss and confidant Freddy (Damon Herriman), Ray is working freelance and feeling a sense of isolation. With business booming, a new connection with criminal kingpin Rafael (Jeremy Sims) intensifies Ray’s struggle, and when sparks fly with new colleague Zoe (Emily Barclay), an unexpected tragedy makes Ray question both his career trajectory and his ethics.
Here is our Interview with MR. INBETWEEN Star – SCOTT RYAN:
1. Before we jump into Mr. Inbetween would you be open to sharing the inspiration and beginnings of the Ray Shoesmith character in The Magician?
Books. A lot of true crime books about hitmen and I guess a little imagination.
2. I’ve read about the Edgerton bros meeting you at the St. Kilda Film Festival and them showing interest in The Magician. Is that the real story of how you met them and also what are your memories of the film festival circuit in Australia?
I met Nash at st kilda film festival. I enjoyed my time at film festivals. I started with Edinburgh then SIFF, MIFF and Sundance.
3. What has it been like working with Blue-Tongue Films and Jungle Entertainment? What have you gained working with Nash, Joel, David Michod, Michele Bennett, Jason Burrows and so many talented folks in the Aussie film world?
I think the results speak for themselves. If you work with talented people, they make you look more talented than you are.
4. It took over a decade to bring Mr. Inbetween into what we now know. Can you share the pivotal elements that led to the show being picked up? Love to hear how FX first got involved?
FX Australia had to make something due to Quotas so they decided to make the scripts Nash had given them. They only made Mr. Inbetween before the Australian office was disbanded. When FX US saw the show, they got behind it completely.
5. Producer Michele Bennett has a great quote about the plots that are in the show, “No idea is TOO far out there”. Has there been an idea that you haven’t liked for the character?
There have been plenty of ideas I haven’t liked for the character. Usually that happens in the writers room but those ideas don’t get too far.
6. When and how do you write – in the mornings, night, at home, hand written than typed or on the laptop?
I usually write late morning till late afternoon but it also depends on how much time I have to deliver scripts.
7. In the show you are pretty open to letting your hands fly and you’ve utilized some intriguing weapon choices. Have you had an boxing/mma training and/or weapons training? Coolest gun you’ve shot in the show?
I’ve had about a decades worth of training in martial arts. The Patchett sub machine gun I used in season 1 was a lot of fun.
8. Ray has such unique relationships throughout the show. I’d love to list a few characters/actors and if you can share your favorite moments you’ve had acting off of or watching them perform your writing in scenes or even fun stories about just working with them:
Freddy (Damon Herriman) – My favorite scene I ever did with Damon, never made it into the final cut of the ep but it was basically some improv we did in a scene.
Gary (Justin Rosniak) – We didn’t know each other before the show. He’s a great improv actor, very loose, so my favorite moments with him are when he surprises me with something.
Bruce (Nicholas Cassim) – Very funny guy and a brilliant actor. people ask me all the time if he really has MND.
Ally (Brook Satchwell) – Brooke and I didn’t know each other at all really until after season 1 ended and since we’ve become close friends. She has an openness and a warmth, very truthful and honest.
Brittany (Chika Yasumura) – I knew Chika before the show and we had a pretty good rapport all ready which made it pretty easy. She’s untrained like me and works in much the same way as I do.
Boof (Jed) – I’m a big dog lover so anytime I had to work with Pooches was a good day.
Dave (Matt Nable) – My favorite scene in season 1 was when Ray gets kidnapped by Dave and he and Ray are talking about Boys names. Matty imrovised the tail end of the scene and it was fucken hilarious.
Also what was it like beating up Nash aka Trent?
They had charges in the window to blow it as I pushed him. I was worried he might crack his head if they didn’t blow it in time but he just said, hey go for it. Being a stuntman and a director comes in handy.
9. What has it meant to win AACTA and Logie awards? How has your life changed or not changed because of the success of the show? How much of America have you been able to visit (any highlights you want to share)?
Awards are always nice, it means people dig the show. I’ve been to the US a few times, which I always enjoy. My life really hasn’t changed that much though. I’m still me and my family and friends are the same as I had before the show. I haven’t had a chance to explore America yet but I am planning to move there for a few years at least. Number 1 on my list is Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
10. Lastly, Scott I won’t ask anything about Season 3 (unless you want to share something fun?) but I’m really curious I read that you have a script idea somehow relating to JFK? Being based in Dallas I’m curious how much may or may not include the day and half he spent in our metroplex? And are you writing anything else?