Not a stranger to being in the spotlight or shy about being asked to make a million faces on cue, model and actor Jeff Ryan is anything but ordinary. Here he shares his experience on being cast for the hit show “Orange is the New Black,” his love of coffee and a subtle message to one of his favorite designers.
Hair: Dark blonde
Hometown: Gillette, N.J.
This story first appeared in the January 13, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
What is the most notable job you have had as an actor?
I was on season three of “Orange is the New Black.” I had a few smaller roles before, but when I went in for “OITNB,” I was actually a bit offended. They had sent me in because there were two roles that were being cast: one was the cute lovable boyfriend and the other was a meth-head hillbilly. When I realized I had booked the [meth-head] role, I was happy but still a bit offended. But being on set was awesome; they let me improv so much that it ended up being a great and fun experience.
How do you juggle being an actor and a model?
It’s pretty easy to balance because modeling is much more steady. Acting is my passion and what I want to be doing in life. But I’m happy doing both because they put me in front of a camera, it’s not a job sitting behind a desk, which is something
I would never do. I love modeling because it gives me the opportunity to make writing and making movies my full-time job.
If you could choose your dream job/role, what would it be?
It would be to write, produce and star in a big-budget movie. I would love to work with the Coen brothers; they are hands down my favorite directors. That would be a dream come true, no matter what scale. Their overall style of work is where I gravitate most as an actor.
Are you currently obsessed with anything?
I would say everything. But coffee — anyone that knows me will know that. I worked in a roastery in Boston for a while, and I love coffee more than anything in the world. I wake up very early every day just so I can have coffee. It’s an activity I can have fun meeting people over. I like to take the time to make it how I want it and there’s also a big culture with cool coffee shops in this country, so I find it fun to travel and find the coolest coffee shops everywhere I go.
Do you have any favorite designers?
I really dig Billy Reid and I’m a big fan of Todd Snyder. I walked for Todd Snyder before, but Billy Reid has yet to cast me in his show, so how about we have a conversation with him?
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
I would love to go to Iceland; I want to see the Northern Lights. And China. Everyone asks me: “Why China?” I don’t know why but I’m going someday.