The star talks about why he's leaving Coronation Street after 16 years and what his career plans are
Viewers will see the 32-year-old exit Corrie next week after 16 years playing builder Jason Grimshaw.
But a move across the Pennines to Yorkshire’s Emmerdale is unlikely despite the presence of his younger brother Adam Thomas.
Ryan joked: “I can’t leave the best soap to go to another soap that isn’t as good as my one!”
He added: “I’ve got to be territorial to my show and my show is the best… The one thing I would love to do is work with my brother as that would be fantastic and maybe that opportunity will come at some point.”
Manchester-born Ryan became a Corrie favourite as a womanising hunk, with storylines tending to revolve around relationships.
Jason’s disastrous liaison with Sarah Platt (played by Tina O’Brien, Ryan’s ex-partner with whom he has a daughter) is among the most memorable.
Ryan announced his decision to leave Coronation Street in 2015, but he isn’t planning to have a crack at Hollywood.
He said: “I feel like it’s a bubble, this show. It’s the best bubble in the world and I feel like now is the time. It’s just time to pop that bubble, test myself and take myself out of my comfort zone a little bit.”
The Corrie door has been left open for Ryan who is ‘very happy’ about the decision not to kill off his character.
When friend and former colleague Michelle Keegan quit her role as Tina McIntyre, the barmaid died in a whodunnit? storyline in 2014.
Ryan is hoping to follow in 29-year-old Michelle’s footsteps. The Ordinary Lies star is soon to be seen in the second series of BBC One’s Our Girl.
“She said she’s had the time of her life, and it’s exciting to hear that,” Ryan said. “I’d love to do these big dramas. The theatre doesn’t really appeal to me, but I know I have to do it to add another string to my bow.
“I’m not the best singer, but I will do it, I will test myself. If it means auditioning for a musical then I’ll do it.”
Speaking ahead of the broadcast of his final scene, Ryan admitted to feeling emotional when he filmed with Sue Cleaver, who plays his mother Eileen Grimshaw.
“I’ve cried twice,” he said. “The first time was when I picked up the script, and that caught me off guard. It was the first time it hit me, and the first time I realised I was leaving.”
He added: “I looked at Sue and just – I’m getting a little tingle of it now – goose pimples… I grew up with these people so it’s real. I was even saying, ‘Have we overplayed this?’”
Looking back on his many years in Coronation Street, Ryan said he has been ‘blessed’ to work with such talented actors.
“I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve grabbed a little bit from all of them. I will take that with me on the next part of the journey.”