Oscar 2007: Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone

The gifted Amy Ryan can be seen this fall in three vastly different performances in “Before the Devil Knows You're Dead,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and “Dan in Real Time.” If there's some justice, Ryan should receive Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her turn as the fun-loving irresponsible mother in Ben Affleck's feature directorial debut, “Gone Baby Gone.”

Cast by Affleck:

Ryan met Ben Affleck in Santa Monica and read several scenes for him. He said he wanted the Boston accent to be spot-on, but was having trouble finding the right actress. Affleck then asked, “Where are you from in Boston” to which Ryan said, “I'm from New York.” Affleck was reportedly shocked, claiming that he had never been fooled to such an extent before. He was willing to hire her on the spot, but as Ryan recalled, “You can't offer an actor a job in the room. You have to go through the proper channels.” Which he did.

Ryan has only three or four scenes in the film, but she registers strongly as soon as she appears on screen as a trashy, drug-addicted mom, with a foul mouth to match.

Affleck's writing and direction serve the gutsy turn in refusing to sentimentalize the role of a grieving mother, set in her own ways, who refuses–or perhaps is unable–to change, even in the morally ambiguous ending. It's a consistent, one of a kind performance.

Ryan's Illustrious Career

Ryan has made her mark working with some of today's top directors and talent in the industry. Between many high profile stage projects and television roles such as HBO's “The Wire,” back this January, Amy is still just getting started.

Besides “Before the Devil Knows You're Dead,” Ryan hits the big screen this October in “Gone Baby Gone.” Directed by Ben Affleck, Amy co-stars with Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris in a breakout performance as a Boston mother whose child is kidnapped. Amy also appears this fall in “Dan in Real Life” with Steve Carell, directed by Peter Hedges.

She has also starred in some extremely noted films such as “Keane,” directed by Lodge Kerrigan, “Capote” by Bennet Miller, and “War of the Worlds,” directed by Steven Spielberg. Amy most recently completed two independent films due out next year: “Bob Funk” by writer/director Craig Carlisle, and “The Missing Person,” by writer Noah Buschel.

In addition to her film credits, Ryan also has made quite a success on the Broadway stage. In 2000, Ryan was nominated for her first Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in the Broadway hit “Uncle Vanya.”

A few years later, she astounded critics with a moving portrayal of the character Stella, and was nominated again for best featured Actress opposite John C. Reilly in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by Ed Hall. Amy also starred in Neil LaBute's play “The Distance from Here” in London's West End.

Ryan's TV credits are extensive, with over 30 guest star performances and over eight series regular or recurring characters on primetime television shows. Amy Ryan has proven herself to be one of the most versatile young actresses working today by playing a variety of compelling characters on stage and screen.

Ryan was raised in Queens, New York where she attended the Highschool of Performing Arts.