With Beauty and the Beast well underway on The CW, eager fans are breathlessly awaiting the inevitable hook-up between lead characters Catherine and Vincent. But, as Jay Ryan told Wetpaint Entertainment, their romance has more than a few obstacles to hurdle first.

The star talked to us about their relationship and upcoming episodes have in store for the beastly drama.

Wetpaint Entertainment: It seems like we’re ramping up fast. Where do we go from here?
Jay Ryan: We really start to see that Vincent has been watching over Catherine to try to protect her for a long time. She is, to Vincent, someone that may hold clues to the cure to this demon inside him, through whatever information her mother may have held. So what we see is Vincent really stepping up and trying to forge a relationship: one, with a person, but two, with a female. So there's this romantic element to it. And in letting someone get close to him, it brings up a lot of issues for him.

I think his biggest fear is that she becomes a target for Muirfield, who created him and is now trying to destroy him, as well. Anyone who gets close to him is also a target now on their radar. So we start to see the stakes of that and how that's going to affect Catherine and Vincent. Once they start targeting Catherine to get to Vincent, he has to step up and face Muirfield head-on.

For Catherine, Vincent is the key to her past, but I assume she's also attracted to him. How is that balanced?
Well, they learn very quickly that there's an attraction, but they're not the kind of people to jump in the sack with each other straight-out. They live in very different worlds. It's a heightened, dark, dangerous world. And Catherine — she's a detective, so at the end of the day, she usually puts people like Vincent behind bars. She's got a lot of searching to do to find what she can connect to and to break through her black-and-white view of what is good and what is bad.

So, yes, there is huge attraction between them, but they have so much baggage that before they move to the physical sense, they really have to sort out their demons. I think that’s what draws them even closer: These two people are from different worlds. They have the same moral compass, and they are after the same things, which I guess is justice. And once you’ve got the justice, then the love can come. But you know Vincent has this beast-like quality about him and that puts a big barrier [for anyone] to really get physical with them at this point anyway.

We can imagine — in a slightly comical sense — that when they get physical, his inner beast would be unleashed, right?
There's many different triggers to how this beast comes out, and I think Vincent is extremely scared. It's kind of like when a guy is like, what if I can't get it up? He doesn’t know if he’s going to turn into a beast, you know? So I guess that's kind of a common way to look at it. But I think that's how you can relate it to a real-world situation again. The heart of Beauty and the Beast, as well, is it's about romance. Jumping into the sack straight-away is not really romantic.

Vincent’s roommate, J.T., is doing everything he can to keep Vincent and Catherine apart. He seems constantly concerned about their relationship.
Yes, he's like the foreboding mother to Vincent. He's like that rationalist that says, no, you can't do that. And Vincent's like the teenager, like, “F—k you. I'm going out and I'm doing what I want. This is my life, and now I'm going to live it.” So it is kinda a little bit like that because J.T. has been in Vincent's life since they were kids. They know each other so well.

As actors, we're kind of going for that kind of unhappy marriage feel, which also adds an element of comedy to a dark situation. And do you know what? During the series, that kind of flips, and the way that Vincent really pursues his relationship with Catherine and [tries] to have a normal life despite this crazy thing that's going on with his body and his world — I think J.T. eventually gets inspired by Vincent and starts to take a few leaves out of Vincent's book and starts to pursue relationships, as well, and to try to have some hope and happiness in his life.

Really? J.T.'s going to date?
Yeah. J.T. is going to date. Look out for it.

What can you tell us about tonight’s episode?
Well, I think this episode is really about Vincent jumping from being the invisible protector to Catherine to being very visible in her life. He steps his foot in the door to show her that he can add value to her cases. He has these senses and instincts as the beast that he can actually use for good, and [they] help Catherine when she takes the wrong journey in a case. Maybe she's looking at someone who's innocent, and Vincent can see very clearly that that's not the case. So I think he steps over the line and it is kind of a way for him to become closer to her and gives him a purpose.

And there's going to be some head-butting because they're both very strong individuals. And Vincent thinks he's right, and Catherine thinks she's right. It's going to heat up, definitely — very quickly.

Except that argument could end very quickly, considering the circumstances?
You're right. This great threat is, can Vincent control the beast within around Catherine? And he really hopes with his life that he can because this woman is his only hope at living some sort of normality of life.

Is the long-term goal to find something that prevents him from turning into a beast?
Yes. That's what he's been searching for since he arrives on J.T.'s doorstep [after] the experiments in Afghanistan. Those two have put J.T.'s biochemistry background and Vincent's medical background together, and they're trying to find this cure, but Vincent's given up. I guess Catherine becomes the key to re-sparking Vincent's imagination and hope. They may never find the cure. But that would be a sad ending to our story. Maybe they just never have sex. I don't know.

That would be so sad for a show on The CW.
You know what? We're bringing romance back, you know? We're showing the kids how to actually have a little bit of romance first, then go from there. I sound like I'm 50 right now, don’t I?

Beauty and the Beast airs tonight and every Thursday at 9 P.M. ET on The CW.

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