Photos provided via PR team
The show, which centres on the nurses and pilots working for an air ambulance service in remote northern Manitoba, will make its season premiere on October 1st on CBC and its Paramount+ premiere is set to be announced soon.
Life, death, and drama at 20-thousand feet, Skymed is a medical adventure drama series about a group of young first responders in the remote North, where help and survival are thousands of miles away.
Ryan’s character Reese is a handsome young pilot who, as we’ve seen in season one, is not afraid to flirt with his fellow crew members at work. He first gets introduced to the team as a rampie at the Thompson Airport, and now he joins the ranks of his Skymed peers as a pilot himself. Audiences can expect to get to know a lot more about Reese this season.
Ryan also landed his biggest role yet as the lead in the new feature film Queen Tut following an Egyptian teenager who begins a new friendship with a trans mother after immigrating to Toronto from his home of Cairo. The film is currently making its film festival rounds.
I had the opportunity to chat with Ryan about reprising his role, what fans can expect from the second season and more.
Kat: You’re set to reprise your role as Reese in the second season of the highly acclaimed medical drama series SkyMed. How did you prepare for your role this season? Did you find any similarities between yourself and your character Reese?
Ryan: My character Reese was only briefly introduced at the end of Season 1, so ahead of Season 2, the writers were able to dig deeper into his story and who he is. What also helped was that we had a break between Season 1 and 2, during which I feel like the Skymed team all got to know me quite well and they were able to infuse Reese with a lot of my own personality traits. So there’s actually many similarities between me and this character. As an actor, it was definitely different to portray someone that’s so similar to myself. My preparation was mostly focused on his backstory and his experience as a pilot. Reese is also me on my best days — when my joy and my confidence are unshakeable. I like that about him.
Kat: What can fans expect from SkyMed season two?
Ryan: I remember reading the scripts for Season 2 for the first time and the first thing I said to our showrunner Julie Puckrin is: “Julie, this is juicyyyyy!!!”. So yeah, you can definitely expect that.
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Ryan: At the end of Season 1, my character Reese is seen flirting with another crew member, Tristan, who’s a taken man. Actually, Nowak and Tristan’s relationship was one of the fans’ favourite things about the show! So, going into Season 2, I was really hoping I’d get to show who Reese is as an individual and give the audience a chance to get to know him. Thankfully, the writers were already on that same page and did a brilliant job writing him in. I’m excited for the fans to see what Reese is all about this season and learn more about his story.
Kat: What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Ryan: There were many favorites this season for different reasons. Funny enough, I really loved shooting all the outdoor scenes — in the cold and the snow. I’m not usually a big fan of snow but those scenes always had a playful element to them. Our very first day on set this season, I had to learn how to drive an ARGO. Please google what that is. I had a lot of fun on that thing.Episode 6 also has a special place in my heart. I look forward to everyone watching it.
Kat: Is there a type of character that you’d like to portray, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Ryan: I feel like falling in love, so I’d love to play the lead in a big heart-wrenching romantic film. Think The Notebook or Call Me By Your Name. I also haven’t gotten to portray a more dark-sided character yet, so that’s definitely in the cards for me at some point.
Kat: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2023?
Ryan: Well, in addition to Skymed, I have another project coming out called Queen Tut, which is my first Lead role in a feature film. It’s a coming-of-age story that follows a young Egyptian man who, after the passing of his mother in Cairo, moves to Toronto and discovers the drag scene there. The film will be making its rounds at film festivals world-wide.
Other than that, I just had my US work visa approved and freshly moved to Los Angeles, California. I really feel like I’m thriving in that environment — I grew up on the Mediterranean in Syria, so this somehow already feels like home. I’m excited to continue to expand and grow my body of work from here.
Connect with Ryan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryanali23