Cernunnos

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Cernunnos
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Cernunnos

Post by Cernunnos » Sun May 24, 2020 1:29 am

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Be like the wind, in thought and deed.

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Cernunnos
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An Interview With Ronan Smythe

Post by Cernunnos » Sun May 24, 2020 1:29 am

An Interview With Ronan Smythe.
Image
Last March, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ronan Smythe, the youngest son of the Smythe family, at his home in upstate New York. While the interview has not been transcribed completely, I think it captures much of who Ronan is, and why so many people are taking an interest in him now.

Enjoy.

Empire Magazine: First off, Ronan, I want to thank you for agreeing to this interview, and for letting us come to your home.

At that, Ronan chuckles. It's worth noting, even if you've seen pictures from his photoshoot, that he's almost disarmingly attractive. Maybe that's unprofessional of me to write, but if you're reading this, my editor must have been okay it.

Ronan Smythe: It's my pleasure. Let's get right to it, shall we? I'm an open book.

EM: Of course. We can start with what I'm sure many of our readers are dying to hear about: Elysium. Your new 'project' in Manhattan. About as exclusive as it gets, even for New York. So tell us- what's it all about?

RS: Well, despite what certain publications continue to insinuate, it's not home to cocaine-fueled orgies of any sort. [Ronan pauses.] And if it was, I wouldn't tell you. [Ronan winks.]

EM: Maybe off the record?

RS: [Ronan laughs.] Elysium isn't a nightclub, either. It's more of a traditional venue, modeled after places my parents would take my siblings and I when we were younger. Not exactly 'family friendly' in the same way as a theme park, but classier than the kind of place it's competing with. If you can call it a competition.

Ronan is full of lines like that. Delivered with a grin, but there's a hint of something beneath it. Like a shark's smile.

EM: Right, I was going to ask you about that. Obviously Elysium has been incredibly successful. Even with how selective your entrance policy is, there are people lining up around the block to get in, almost every night. Do you have a secret?

RS: Being selective is my secret. There are scientific studies about this- if you put two identical toys in front of a child, with one behind a fence, the other out in the open, it's more likely to go out of its way to get the one that it perceives as being more exclusive. Give people something to reach for, and they'll reach further.

EM: That's all there is to it?

RS: That and the blood sacrifices.

Most of Ronan's witticisms are delivered with a sardonic smirk. When he dropped that on me, completely deadpan, I was totally thrown off. Don't let your guard down around this one, ladies.

EM: What about the rumors surrounding you and Lana Coburn, better known as Sanguine? Care to address those?

RS: Just rumors, I'm afraid. Ms. Coburn performed for us at Elysium, the other night. We had lunch the day before, to discuss the details. Everything else is mere innuendo.

EM: Naturally. Do you do that with everyone who's coming to perform at Elysium?

Ronan has a sly grin on his face. He can see the trap I'm trying to put him in.

RS: My schedule is far too full for that. But Lana isn't just anyone. She's one of the most high-profile meta-humans in the country. I read your interview with her, by the way. Scintillating stuff, though I'll admit I don't think you spent quite as long on the details of her love life.

EM: Over sixty-five percent of our readers are women. Perhaps there's more of a demand for details on you.

We're jousting now, and I just scored a hit. Even better, Ronan knows it too. His face betrays just a bit of a blush. I decide there's no need to hit him while he's down.

EM: Changing the subject, let's talk for a moment about your family. You have a close relationship with your siblings, right?

RS: Right. I'm a little surprised you aren't interviewing one of them. They'd certainly be better at this than I am.

EM: Would you say that your relationship with your siblings is stronger because of what you went through together when you were younger? First being held hostage in another country for a year, then shortly after being returned home, experiencing the death of your parents? That has to have brought you closer to them.

For a moment, Ronan doesn't respond, and I worry that I've pushed it too far. Finally, he answers, having turned somber.

RS: Yes, of course. We draw strength from each other, in a way. I don't really know what I'd do without them.

EM: Inheriting your parents' responsibilities must have been hard, at that time in your life. From what I recall, you weren't able to attend college as you'd planned to, as a result of that?

RS: That's right, but it wasn't as difficult as you might expect. All three of us were... gifted children, if you'll forgive my saying so. After a while, our parents had to bring in tutors, because the other children in our classes couldn't keep up with us. So studying for a degree while helping manage the family finances was challenging, but far from impossible.

This is the Ronan Smythe most people are familiar with. An autodidact, athletically accomplished, and aware of how impressive he is. Not quite humble, but a far cry from arrogant. If anything, he's matter-of-fact about it. He has an aura of effortlessness, like everything he does is perfect by nature.

EM: A degree?

Ronan puts his hands up in surrender, the familiar grin beginning to return.

RS: Ah, you've caught me. Yes, I have more than one. No, they aren't just to show off. My original plan was to study forensics, but after my parents died, I had to get an MBA to help run things, which is what led to Elysium. The initial interest never went away, though, so I went and got the other one as well.

EM: That's an accomplishment that would take some people years.

RS: It did take me years. I just did other things at the same time. Everybody loves a multitasker, right?

The self-assured smirk makes me wonder if I imagined the glimpse of a more serious man before. Is this the mask, or was that?

For the full interview with Ronan Smythe, and more images from his exclusive photoshoot with Empire Magazine, visit our website.
Be like the wind, in thought and deed.

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