Michelle Claire Ryan (born 22 April 1984) is an English actress. She played Zoe Slater on the BBC soap opera EastEnders. In 2007, she starred in the short-lived American television series Bionic Woman. She appeared as the evil sorceress Nimueh in the 2008 BBC fantasy series Merlin, and as Lady Christina de Souza in the 2009 Doctor Who episode "Planet of the Dead".
Ryan at the 2009 BAFTA Awards in London
2000–06: EastEnders and CashbackEdit
A member of a local theatre group since she was 10, she was picked for her role in EastEnders when she was 16 and first appeared on the show in September 2000. She left the series in June 2005.
Ryan was given her first acting role playing Sheylla Grands in the series TV show Chosen Ones in the first season and Zoe Slater in the BBC soap EastEnders.
2007–08: Mansfield Park, Jekyll and Bionic WomanEdit
In February 2007, it was announced that she had been cast as the lead in the new drama Bionic Woman. The series began airing in the United States on the broadcast network NBC in September 2007. Ryan affected an American accent for the role of Jaime Sommers, except in the episode "The Education of Jaime Sommers" in which her character goes undercover as an English transfer student at a university; for this episode, she spoke in an Oxfordshire accent instead of her natural London accent. She has had professional dance training and attributed it to helping her with the physically demanding stunts required for the show. She also learned Krav Maga and sign language for the part (the latter because, as originally conceived, Ryan's character was to have had a hearing impaired sister, but this story element was abandoned). Ryan stated the show's cancellation came about because it kept changing direction, and stated it led to her being less ambitious about her career. "I'm more go-with-the-flow now", she said.
In May 2007, Ryan revealed she had auditioned the previous year for the role of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, eventually given to Eva Green. In late 2007, she appeared in Flick, a Welsh independent film co-starring Faye Dunaway and Leslie Phillips.
Prior to Bionic Woman, she appeared in Jekyll for the BBC, a modern-day version of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde starring James Nesbitt. It began its six-episode run on 16 June 2007, and was released on DVD in the United States on 18 September 2007, one week prior to her debut in Bionic Woman.
2008–11: Merlin, Doctor Who and Mister ElevenEdit
Ryan also filmed an ITV romantic drama, Mister Eleven in 2008.
In January 2009, the BBC announced that Ryan had been cast as Lady Christina de Souza in the Doctor Who special episode "Planet of the Dead", which was broadcast on 11 April 2009. She had been rumoured for a part beforehand, and is open to reprising the role in future, although "At the moment, when it comes to acting, I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe."
Ryan and Grey's Anatomy star Kevin McKidd starred in a one-off drama for BBC Scotland, One Night In Emergency, the story of one man's surreal search for his wife in an inner-city hospital. The film, which was filmed in and around Glasgow, was written by Gregory Burke, and directed by Michael Offer.
In October 2010, she completed filming the terrorist thriller Cleanskin. That same year, she appeared in the comedy film Huge alongside Noel Clarke, Johnny Harris, Ralph Brown, Thandie Newton, and Tamsin Egerton, directed by Ben Miller. Another film, No Ordinary Trifle, is in post-production. Also in 2011, Ryan played Helena from A Midsummer Night's Dream in the BBC Learning project, Off By Heart Shakespeare.
2012–present: Cockneys vs Zombies and CabaretEdit
Ryan also completed filming Cockneys vs Zombies, a comedy horror film about a team of bank robbers fighting the undead, directed by Matthias Hoene, alongside Georgia King, Rasmus Hardiker and Jack Doolan. The film was released in September 2012.
|2000||The Worst Witch||Dolores||Episode: "Fair Is Foul & Fouls Are Fair"|
|2000||Burnside||School friend||2 episodes|
|2003||EastEnders: Slaters in Detention||Zoe Slater|
|2003||Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do||Zoe Slater||Special|
|2006||Agatha Christie's Marple||Rose Water||Episode: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"|
|2007||Comic Relief 2007: The Big One||Kate||Segment: "Mr. Bean's Wedding"|
|2007||Mansfield Park||Maria Bertram||Movie|
|2007||Jekyll||Katherine Reimer||6 episodes|
|2007||Bionic Woman||Jaime Sommers||8 episodes|
|2009||Doctor Who||Lady Christina de Souza||Episode: "Planet of the Dead"|
|2009||Mr Eleven||Saz Paley||2-part miniseries|
|2013||Covert Affairs||Helen Hanson / Teresa Hamilton||5 episodes in season 4|
|2014||Death in Paradise||Lexi Cunningham||Episode 3.2|
|2018||True Horror||Vanessa Mitchell||Episode: "The Witches' Prison"|
|2007||I Want Candy||Lila|
|2011||Girl Walks into a Bar||Loretta|
|2012||Cockneys vs Zombies||Katy|
|2012||The Man Inside||Alexia Sinclair|
|2017||The Last Photograph||Maryam|
- "Michelle Ryan". Hello!. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Andrew Pettie (9 April 2009). "Michelle Ryan on joining Doctor Who". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- EastEnders Revealed; Bionic Woman ("The Education of Jaime Sommers")
- Plunkett, John (13 February 2007). "EastEnders star goes bionic". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- "Ryan and Eick on NBC's 'Bionic Woman'". Comingsoon.net. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "Sky Showbiz". Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2007.
- "Merlin's Secrets Revealed". bbc.co.uk. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "Kevin McKidd leads all-star cast to experience One Night In Emergency for BBC Scotland". BBC press-release. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- Lamont, Tom (12 September 2010). "Michelle Ryan: 'There's a difference between being enthusiastic and desperate'". The Guardian (London).
- "Schools – Teachers – Off By Heart Shakespeare: A Midsummer Nights Dream "Lo, she is one of this confederacy!"". BBC. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "Michelle Ryan to Star in Cockneys vs. Zombies". WhatCulture. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- Eng, Joyce. "Exclusive: Covert Affairs Books Bionic Woman's Michelle Ryan". tvguide.com. Retrieved 15 May 2013.