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12 Days of EMPIRE: Ryan Clardy Interview

Ryan Clardy plays Cane Haven on the indie soap EMPIRE. He earned an Indie Soap Award nomination earlier this year for the role. As part of the We Love Soaps "12 Days of EMPIRE" countdown leading up to the April 27 Season Two premiere, today's feature is an interview with the actor conducted at the first read-through of the script earlier this year.

On EMPIRE, Cane lives in NYC with his boyfriend Alex. He was cut out of the family by Cubbie after coming out. Cane is now a private detective struggling to make his relationship work while Alex is struggling as the owner of a fledgling bar and a growing alcohol problem. Cane had not been home for many years when he recently returned to Long Island to investigate his parents' disappearance. When his parents reappeared and his brother Thomas went up the river, Cane returned to Manhattan to Alex ... with someone in tow.

We Love Soaps: Cane is the youngest son.  To put it diplomatically, he’s gotten the short end of the stick in the Haven family.  What was it like for you to walk into the role where your character is the outsider?
Ryan Clardy: It’s different from my own experience.  I’m the oldest brother.  It was interesting to change that around and reverse that.  But in a lot of places I have been, I have been the youngest person in the room.  So I was able to pull that into it.  It was fun, it was a different way of working with people.

We Love Soaps: Off camera, Cane had a partner that was discussed in Season One.  Tell us about Cane’s relationship with Alex. 
Ryan Clardy: It’s a roller coaster.  We’re passionate, and really in love.  But both headstrong and have our own dreams.  It’s becomes a problem of trying to work on our dreams together instead of separately.  There’s that rivalry of who is going to be more successful and capture their dream.  I think Cane wants to support Alex more than Alex wants to support Cane. 

We Love Soaps: Cane has been a reluctant participant in the Haven family dramas.  Will he be drawn in more in Season Two?
Ryan Clardy: This season I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a separate story arc with Alex and Cane....and Jake.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Clardy will battle co-star Nick Lewis (Evan) in an EMPIRE Season One Trivia Challenge on the next episode of WE LOVE SOAPS TV.

Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City at Mental Health Counseling & Marriage And Family Therapy Of New York.   He is also the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve".

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