Michelle Ryan

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For the academic, see Michelle K. Ryan.
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan at the BAFTA's.jpg
Michelle Ryan at the 2009 BAFTA Awards in London
Born (1984-04-22) 22 April 1984 (age 30)
Enfield, Greater London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2000–present

Michelle Claire Ryan (born 22 April 1984)[1] is an English actress. She played Zoe Slater on the BBC soap opera EastEnders. In 2007, she starred in the short-lived American television series Bionic Woman. She appeared as the evil sorceress Nimueh in the 2008 BBC fantasy series Merlin, and as Lady Christina de Souza in the 2009 Doctor Who episode "Planet of the Dead".

Early life[edit]

Michelle Ryan was born in Enfield, Greater London, and was a student at Chace Community School.[2]

Career[edit]

2000-06: EastEnders and Cashback[edit]

A member of a local theatre group since she was 10, she was picked for her role in EastEnders when she was 16 and first appeared on the show in September 2000.[3] She left the series in June 2005 and has since stated that she does not intend to return to EastEnders.[4]

Ryan was given her first acting role playing Sheylla Grands in the series TV show Chosen Ones in the first season and Zoe Slater in the BBC soap EastEnders.

During summer 2005, Ryan appeared in a run of Who's the Daddy? at the King's Head Theatre. The play by Toby Young and Lloyd Evans is based on the David Blunkett paternity case.

Ryan had a small role in an episode of Agatha Christie's Marple which screened in February 2006, and also appeared in a small independent film the same year, Cashback.

2007-08: Mansfield Park, Jekyll and Bionic Woman[edit]

In early 2007, Ryan was seen as Maria in Mansfield Park opposite Billie Piper for ITV and also as Lila in the film I Want Candy, co-starring Carmen Electra and Mackenzie Crook.

In February 2007, it was announced that she had been cast as the lead in the new drama Bionic Woman.[5] The series began airing in the United States on the broadcast network NBC in September 2007. Ryan affected an American accent for the role of Jaime Sommers, except in the episode "The Education of Jaime Sommers" in which her character goes undercover as an English transfer student at a university; for this episode, she spoke in an Oxfordshire accent instead of her natural London accent. She has had professional dance training and attributed it to helping her with the physically demanding stunts required for the show.[6] She also learned Krav Maga and sign language for the part (the latter because, as originally conceived, Ryan's character was to have had a hearing impaired sister, but this story element was abandoned). Ryan stated the show's cancellation came about because it kept changing direction, and stated it led to her being less ambitious about her career. "I'm more go-with-the-flow now", she said.[2]

On Red Nose Day 2007, Ryan appeared in a brand new Mr. Bean sketch written and recorded for Comic Relief.

In May 2007, Ryan revealed she had auditioned the previous year for the role of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, eventually given to Eva Green.[7] In late 2007, she appeared in Flick, a Welsh independent film co-starring Faye Dunaway and Leslie Phillips.

Prior to Bionic Woman, she appeared in Jekyll for the BBC, a modern day version of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde starring James Nesbitt. It began its six-episode run on 16 June 2007, and was released on DVD in the United States on 18 September 2007, one week prior to her debut in Bionic Woman.

2008-11: Merlin, Doctor Who and Mister Eleven[edit]

She has also appeared as the sorceress Nimueh in the BBC drama series Merlin, playing the role in several episodes of the show's first season.[8]

Ryan is signed to Independent Models in London, and is also a patron of children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

Ryan also filmed an ITV romantic drama, Mister Eleven in 2008. It also stars Sean Maguire, Adam Garcia, Lynda Bellingham, Olivia Coleman and Denis Lawson.

In January 2009, the BBC announced that Ryan had been cast as Lady Christina de Souza in the Doctor Who special episode "Planet of the Dead", which was broadcast on 11 April 2009. She had been rumoured for a part beforehand, and is open to reprising the role in future, although "At the moment, when it comes to acting, I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe."[2]

Ryan and Grey's Anatomy star Kevin McKidd are to star in a new one-off drama for BBC Scotland, One Night In Emergency, the story of one man's surreal search for his wife in an inner-city hospital. The cast also features Ewen Bremner, Gary Lewis, Sanjeev Kohli and David Hayman. The film is written by Gregory Burke, author of Black Watch. The drama, which begins filming in and around Glasgow, will be directed by Michael Offer.[9]

Also in 2009, Ryan filmed 4.3.2.1, a crime thriller starring Emma Roberts, Noel Clarke, Tamsin Egerton and Ophelia Lovibond.

She starred in a stage production of The Talented Mr. Ripley at the Royal Theatre in Northampton until October 9, 2010.[10]

In October 2010, she completed filming Cleanskin, a terrorist thriller starring Sean Bean, Charlotte Rampling, James Fox, Abhin Galeya and Tuppence Middleton.

In 2010, Ryan appeared in the comedy film Huge alongside Noel Clarke, Johnny Harris, Ralph Brown, Thandie Newton, and Tamsin Egerton, directed by Ben Miller. Another film, No Ordinary Trifle, is in post-production. Also in 2011, Ryan played Helena from A Midsummer Night's Dream in the BBC Learning project, "Off By Heart Shakespeare" and delivered the speech: "Lo, she is one of this confederacy!"[11]

2012-present: Cockneys vs Zombies and Cabaret[edit]

Ryan also completed filming Cockneys vs Zombies, a comedy horror film about a team of bank robbers fighting the undead, directed by Matthias Hoene, alongside Georgia King, Rasmus Hardiker and Jack Doolan.[12] The film was released in September 2012.

For the final months of 2012, Ryan toured with Will Young in a production of Cabaret. This production also played in London's West End.

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 The Worst Witch Dolores Episode: "Fair Is Foul & Fouls Are Fair"
2000 Burnside School friend 2 episodes
2000–2005 EastEnders Zoe Slater
2003 EastEnders: Slaters in Detention Zoe Slater
2003 Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do Zoe Slater
2006 Agatha Christie's Marple Rose Water Episode: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
2007 Comic Relief Kate "Mr. Bean's Wedding" segment
2007 Mansfield Park Maria Bertram
2007 Jekyll Katherine Reimer
2007 Bionic Woman Jaime Sommers
2008 Merlin Nimueh 4 episodes
2009 Doctor Who Lady Christina de Souza Episode: "Planet of the Dead"
2009 Mr Eleven Saz Paley
2013 Covert Affairs Helen Hanson/Teresa Hamilton[13]
2014 Death in Paradise Lexi Cunningham 1 episode

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
2006 Cashback Suzy
2007 I Want Candy Lila
2008 Flick Sandra Martin
2010 4.3.2.1 Kelly
2010 Huge Cindy
2010 Love's Kitchen Shauna
2011 Cleanskin Emma
2011 Girl Walks Into a Bar Loretta
2012 Cockneys vs Zombies Katy
2012 The Man Inside Alexia Sinclair

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michelle Ryan – Bionic beauty
  2. ^ a b c Andrew Pettie (2009-04-09). "Michelle Ryan on joining Doctor Who". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  3. ^ EastEnders Revealed; Bionic Woman ("The Education of Jaime Sommers")
  4. ^ Green, Kris (29 September 2008). "Michelle Ryan rules out 'Enders return". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Ex-Eastender Zoe transformed into Bionic Woman". Daily Mail (London). 14 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  6. ^ "Ryan and Eick on NBC's 'Bionic Woman'". Comingsoon.net. 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  7. ^ "Sky Showbiz". Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  8. ^ "Merlin's Secrets Revealed". bbc.co.uk. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  9. ^ "Kevin McKidd leads all-star cast to experience One Night In Emergency for BBC Scotland". BBC press-release. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Lamont, Tom (12 September 2010). "Michelle Ryan: 'There's a difference between being enthusiastic and desperate'". The Guardian (London). 
  11. ^ "Schools – Teachers – Off By Heart Shakespeare: A Midsummer Nights Dream "Lo, she is one of this confederacy!"". BBC. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  12. ^ "Michelle Ryan to Star in Cockneys vs. Zombies". WhatCulture. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  13. ^ Eng, Joyce. "Exclusive: Covert Affairs Books Bionic Woman's Michelle Ryan". tvguide.com. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 

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