Rex Ryan has admitted it’s beginning to scare him how much he’s turning into his 2FM star dad Gerry.
The 24-year-old has opened up on his relationship with his beloved father, admitting: “He was pretty much my best friend.”
The RTE star was tragically found dead in April, 2010 after a massive heart attack, when he was just 53.
And Rex – who is beginning to carve out a career as an actor – says their mutual love of “taking the piss” kept them so close.
2FM star: Gerry is known for his morning breakfast show | VIPIRELAND.COM
“I think there’s an inherit love between father and son anyway. But with my dad, dad was pretty much my best friend,” he said.
“We had a lot of shared interests. I think respect is a very important thing, and I certainly had a lot of respect for dad.
“And I think all those ingredients mixed together formed the really strong bond we had. And I think sometimes I scare myself because I’m very similar to him.
“I’m starting to notice in ways. And sometimes I’m very different to him. I think I have a lot of my mum in me too.
Siblings: Rex with his sisters Bonnie, Lottie and Babette | VIPIRELAND.COM
“I enjoyed my dad, we like messing, we both like taking the piss a lot. I liked that aspect to him a lot and I have huge respect for his intelligence.
“He was a hyper-intelligent man and I think that’s how he got away with a lot of the messing, because people were willing to make concessions because they knew that this guy knew his stuff.”
Now Rex has shot to fame on his own merit after a number of hugely successful plays.
But the Dubliner told TV3’s Late Lunch Live he doesn’t mind being called Gerry Ryan’s son – although did worry that people may think he only got roles because of the family link.
However Rex believes that is now starting to change as he continues to impress and prove he got everything on his own merit.
Going solo: Rex wants to be known on his own accord
“When I first came out of drama school I didn’t read any reviews of plays that I would have been in,” he said.
“But a lot of precursors in reviews, I was told, would be that ‘the actor playing this role is the son of Gerry Ryan’ and things like that.
“I used to claim that I wasn’t aware of this but I must be because I made a conscious decision not to do interviews to stay away from it.
“Just in case there would be the accusation of me getting gigs from the name point of view. But I’m cool with it.
RTE star: Gerry with Ryan Tubridy before his death
“I’ve a huge respect for my father, and to be affiliated with him, there’s no problems at all. But I think it’s stopping now slightly. I think it’s fading now… and that’s what I would like.
“That’s my gig. I have no problem talking about dad and no problem being affiliated with him. But first and foremost I’d like to be recognised for the work I do, and not dad’s work.”
Rex added that there “must be a gene in a family” that has pushed the Ryans towards show business – with sister Lottie working on 2FM, and other sister Bonnie carving out a singing career.