Entertainment Radio

Saturday 19 October 2019

'I'm an extremely different person now so it's like a different person knew him at that time' - Rex Ryan on his dad Gerry

Rex spoke to his dad's former colleague and good friend Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio 1

Ryan Tubridy and Rex Ryan at RTE Radio 1
Ryan Tubridy and Rex Ryan at RTE Radio 1
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Rex Ryan returned to the home of his late dad Gerry's radio show at RTE's radio buildings this morning to speak about his acting career and his memories of his father.

The 28-year-old lost his dad eight years ago on Monday and revealed that he now feels like a completely different person to the young man he was then.

He told host Ryan Tubridy that he looks back on him "fondly" and described him as a "powerful, brilliant man for me personally", adding, "I was very close with him and we had some great times.  I am profoundly influenced by him but it's a very strange thing me talking about my dad.

"I talk about a father really from my last memories when I was 21 and I'm an extremely different person now so it's almost like a different person knew him at that time.  It's a strange thing looking back on a different life in a way."

He added, "It seems quite distant now.  It seems a long time ago and that gives it a sort of a melancholy I suppose when I look back on it.  It does feel like a different life in a strange way."

Rex is currently appearing in the play Pilgrim at Smock Alley and revealed his start in acting began when he was a child and performed in front of his family at his nana's house.

He began to realise that his father was well-known when he was at school although he said, "I think people usually, and this is understandable, assume that things would be more difficult for your or your might have had to put up with some strange behaviour and I really never did."

Read more: 'My parents secretly knew that was going to be my job for life' - Gerry Ryan's son Rex on life, death and redemption

At the age of four, Rex revealed he was kicked out of Temple St for leading a rebellion amongst the kids, "I had an army of boys and girls on drips of varying degrees of sickness in a full blown rebellion, we were trying to take over the hospital".

On his way home from the hospital, his dad told him that he had made some of the kids really happy that night.

Rex revealed how his dad's death has impacted his awareness of his own mortality.

"Life is good," he said.  "I think I am just profoundly aware of our mortality... maybe it's with dad dying but I know I could leave today and get smashed by a bus."

He added, "I'm extremely lucky, and we're all lucky probably to be alive. I enjoy this, now, talking, I'll enjoy going on stage tonight... I have no resentment against any sort of God or thing that might have taken him too early."

You can listen back to the entire interview on the RTE Radio 1 website.

Read more:  'Dad wouldn't want me to sulk' - Rex Ryan honours father Gerry by living life 'with vigour and love'

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