“I love working with people like that. I just love being around genuine people who believe in something. I like people who know the rulebook but aren’t afraid to fking dive in and do their thing and stand behind it. That’s what I love about people like Jimmy, or Philo,” Rex says, meaning Cavan writer Philip Doherty who wrote the one-man-play Pilgrim, in which Rex will star in at the main space in Smock Alley on Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, from April 23 to May 5.
“I really believe in things,” Rex says, “and I try to put myself fully into the thing and not have any excuses by the end”. This much is obvious to anyone who has ever seen him act (or indeed met him.) “Rex Ryan is a tour de force,” wrote The Edinburgh Reporter reviewing him in Pilgrim at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015. Rex is, of course, returning with Pilgrim in two weeks.
“The initial draw to Pilgrim,” he says, “was actually the imagination and beautiful madness of the writer of the play,” Rex says of Mr Doherty. “It started as a chat we had in his van after we finished our first play together, The Birthday Man, which he wrote and directed at the Dublin Fringe,” says Ryan, neglecting to mention that he was nominated for Best Actor in the 2013 Dublin Fringe for his performance in The Birthday Man.