Ryan O’Doherty is on the rise. He features in the highly anticipated Amy Winehouse biopic ‘Back to Black. It’s the kind of success that some actors spend their whole career chasing, but Ryan has a completely different take, “I just want to contribute something positive to the world. If I’m honest, I don’t always know what that looks like, but I know that being authentic and having good intentions is usually always a good place to start.” 

This fluid outlook on success should come as no surprise given the young actor’s equally malleable approach to creativity. On any given day, Ryan can be found capturing his surroundings with his trusty, matte black Fujifilm camera or purposefully pacing the stage in front of a captivated audience. Today, his canvas is The Old School Studio in Stepney Green, wearing Aubin’s Spring collection, aptly titled ‘The Makers’. In his words, the “medium doesn’t really matter, it’s all about the personal connection… the stories, my grandfather is an incredible story teller, and that’s where it began”. 

“I don’t think acting is the art of pretending, it’s the art of revealing. Of walking a mile in another persons shoes, it allowed me to broaden my perspective beyond my own experiences. It can bring people together and teaches me something new every time” 

“For me, it’s a need to serve a higher purpose and a search for something human. It’s empathy. Though, really, I feel like it’s a mystery, there’s no one way to do it.  Every time it’s different and every project requires a new approach so I’m still figuring it out and I’m comfortable not knowing all the answers”  

In a year that has seen him play Cassio in the award nominated run of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello at the Riverside Studios and Amy Winehouse’s former boyfriend Chris Taylor, Aubin’s tagline of ‘Modern British design, inspired by the past, living in the present’ couldn’t be more fitting. “The beauty of stories is that they don’t have an expiration date. They’re a window into the past, but they also shape much of our present. Younger people may think that words like “vexed” or “swagger” are slang because they’ve heard it used in Grime, Rap and Hip Hop, but it was Shakespeare. Whereas with Amy, you don’t have to squint so hard to see the impact of her artistry, it’s as clear as day.” 

“Just take a walk through Camden and you’ll see murals, memorials, and street performers inspired to keep her alive. I’d compare the imprint she’s left on our society to someone like James Dean. She was a cultural icon and it was a privilege to be a part of the telling of her story with an incredible team of film makers.” he says with a cheeky chuckle. 

Films like Rye Lane, Boiling Point, and All of Us Strangers, have seen London reintroduced to global audiences with a charm and authenticity that the silver screen has noticeably lacked in the big-budget, blockbuster era of the 2010s.  

“I think The pandemic has a lot to do with this,” he says. “When productions were shut down, audiences turned to the independent scene for something new, and we delivered. The British music, theatre, film, and TV industry is incredibly resilient, and we thrive when our backs are up against the wall in many ways.”  

With the dust having settled from the pandemic, Ryan is optimistic that the best is yet to come from the British creative industry. “British identity has evolved to become so diverse. Whether it’s someone with Celtic ancestry like me, or something else, we’re all bringing something different to British identity. These differences are manifesting in the art that is beautifully emerging from our shores. I’m excited for what’s to come”. 

Follow @ryanodoherty_ on Instagram to find out more about his work.