Line of Duty’s Gregory Piper reveals he had to re-audition to play Ryan Pilkington again
The breakout star of Line of Duty series six had to once again prove his acting chops.
Line of Duty star Gregory Piper has revealed that he had to re-audition for the role of Ryan Pilkington, when the character was brought back after a long absence from the show.
He first took on the role as a 13-year-old in the first series of the crime drama and his character was not seen again until seven years later, when he made a surprise comeback in the series five.
Upon his reintroduction, it is discovered that attempts by PC Simon Bannerjee to steer him away from a life of crime had been unsuccessful and he had instead taken an even greater role in the dangerous OCG that haunts AC-12.
In an interview on Craig Parkinson's Two Shot Podcast, the actor revealed that he had to re-audition to play Ryan again and had he not impressed the producers, the role could have gone to someone else.
"One day I was at college rehearsing for a play and on my phone was 'oh my God, Line of Duty are getting in touch about Ryan', completely out of the blue, it really took me as a surprise," he said. "And then it was 'okay, obviously we need to find out if you still act, like do you still do this anymore?'
Piper continued: "So then I felt very eager to show them I'm still here, I still really want to do this. So [talent agent] Ross wrote a scene and I performed the scene as a self-tape and sent that off to try and prove that, you know, 'I'm still doing this'. And I just had a really positive response back from that.
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"Then I met with [director] John Strickland and Jed [Mercurio] again and that was really nice, it was very surreal to meet those people again. And then we just went over a couple of the scenes and kind of locked in where Ryan was at that point."
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It's safe to say that Piper has made a big impression in Line of Duty's sixth series, where he took his place as the OCG's latest plant within the police force, making life a misery for DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald).
Line of Duty is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.