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Jake Ryan reveals the unusual trick that helped him transform into face-tattooed New Zealand gang leader for film Savage

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Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-01-26

Former Home and Away star Jake Ryan is set to play a heavily tattooed, rough-as-guts gang member in the powerful new movie, Savage.

And now, the 37-year-old actor has revealed the rather unusual trick that helped him get into his character, Damage, while filming his new action film.

Speaking to Nine Entertainment on Sunday, Jake explained he was able to channel his character by sitting in a shopping mall while in costume with Damage's face tattoos and a mullet.

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Tatt's dedication! Former Home and Away star Jake Ryan, 37, (pictured) has revealed he dressed in full costume and went shopping to prepare for his role as New Zealand gang leader Damage in the upcoming film Savage

'I didn't have to do anything and people were parting ways, and people looked terrified, they wouldn't make eye contact,' he said.

'At first I was quite scared to do it and then you start resenting people for judging you and then you're craving connection... it was amazing what a couple of stickers on your face and a haircut [can do], how you can be perceived by society.'

The actor gained 20kg and met with ex-gang members in New Zealand while deep diving into the dark role.

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Immersing himself in the character: 'I didn't have to do anything and people were parting ways, and people looked terrified, they wouldn't make eye contact,' he revealed 
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Not in Summer Bay anymore! To play the sergeant-at-arms of the Savages, Jake had to wear faux tattoos that read the words  'Savages' and 'poneke' (the Maori name for Wellington) on his face

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Jake admitted the role took a toll on him.

'Not only physically, but emotionally going down into that world is a heavy, dark world... it took a bit of a toll on me,' he explains.

Inspired by the true stories of New Zealand's street gangs across 30 years, the film follows Jake's character Danny as he grows from a boy into the violent enforcer of a gang.

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Candles, music and meditation: Admitting that 'diving in deep' to the role was tough at times, Jake recalled how he and his makeup artist created 'little rituals' to wind down after a day on set

Jake explained the story has more heart and soul than what appears in the trailers, as it shines a light on just how many youths went from violent family homes to abusive state care in the 80s.

He also insisted that the movie does not glorify gang violence.

'I met these ex-gang members who had suffered abuse in state homes, it was a pretty dark road. It took a bit of a toll on me, but it's such an important story that everyone needs to understand and see,' Jake said.

Savage is now available for streaming on Stan.

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Savage is now available for streaming on Stan.

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