Ryan Kwanten was very comfortable in his own skin, much to the delight of millions of viewers who tuned in each week to catch a glimpse of the actor's toned physique on HBO's vampire saga, "True Blood" (2008-14). Created by the award-winning director Alan Ball, the series was an intoxicating combination of blood and gore, Southern gothic melodrama, and sexually charged scenes. Kwanten was perfectly cast as the show's resident playboy whose ripped six-pack was always on full display - made necessary by his character's endless sexual conquests. As the series progressed, viewers watched his character slowly reveal his painful past, which gave Kwanten a chance to reveal a more vulnerable side. Kwanten received his start as a lifeguard on Australia's popular soap "Home and Away" (7 Network, 1988- ) before eventually starring in the family drama "Summerland" (The WB, 2004-05) as a surfer with Peter Pan syndrome. But it was his role in the gripping vampire series that put Kwanten on the Hollywood map.
Ryan Christian Kwanten was born on Nov. 28, 1976 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Growing up, the youngster was more interested in sports than in acting, excelling in triathlons, surfing, golf and tennis. As a teenager, he was even named the state welterweight boxing champion. Kwanten began acting purely by chance when he was 15 years old. After waiting in the car for his mother and younger brother who were at a talent agency, Kwanten decided to go find his family and while looking for them, was convinced to audition as well. He started booking small parts on television while attending Sydney University, where he earned a business degree. Kwanten began landing guest appearances, including on the medical drama "A Country Practice" (7 Network, 1981-1993), followed by a lead role as a jock on the teen sci-fi series, "Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord" (Channel 9, 1997). In 1998, Kwanten starred as a lifeguard on the primetime soap, "Home and Away," which would also launch the careers of Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger. As he often appeared shirtless, Kwanten began gaining a huge following of mostly teen girls smitten with the actor's ripped physique.
After finishing his stint on the long-running Australian series, Kwanten moved to Los Angeles and was cast in the made-for-TV film, "Junction Boys" (ESPN, 2002) and guest starred on sci-fi series, "Tru Calling" (Fox, 2003-05) about a woman able to re-live the same day over to prevent murders. Kwanten also co-starred on the WB family drama, "Summerland" about a 30-something fashion designer, Ava (Lori Loughlin), whose carefree lifestyle in a California beach town turns upside-down when she is suddenly forced to raise her orphaned niece and nephews. Kwanten played Ava's Australian surfer friend who becomes a role model to her 16-year-old nephew (Jesse McCartney). In 2006, he starred in the film "Flicka" as the sweet but dimwitted older brother of a young girl (Alison Lohman) who realizes her dreams of working on the family's ranch with the help of a mustang named Flicka.
Kwanten's performance in the latter project caught the eye of Alan Ball, who cast Kwanten in the HBO series, "True Blood," based on the "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" novels by Charlaine Harris. The saga follows the residents in a small Louisiana town who c xist with modern-day vampires, and featured Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic local waitress, and Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton, Sookie's fanged love interest. Kwanten played Sookie's brother, Jason, a studly simpleton whose sexual exploits sometimes hide a deep need for a true connection. Like his previous projects, Kwanten's character was the show's resident playboy who often showed off his buff physique; a fact not lost on millions of viewers who made the series one of the network's most watched shows. In 2010, Kwanten starred in the critically acclaimed thriller "Red Hill," a contemporary Western about a young sheriff searching for an escapee who wants revenge on the gang that threw him in jail. He also starred in the romantic comedy "Griff the Invisible" (2010) as a normal guy by day and superhero by night.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Landed the regular role of Ben Lloyd on the long-running series, "A Country Practice"
Made film debut in "Signal One"
Starred in the Australian series, "Spellbinder II"
Joined the cast of the Australian series, "Home and Away" in the regular role of Vinnie Patterson
Made American acting debut in "Junction Boys"
Landed a lead role as a surfer in the motion picture, "Liquid Bridge"
Played the title character in the coming-of-age independent film, "American Brown"
Made debut as a regular cast member in an American series on the WB's "Summerland"
Co-starred as Alison Lohman¿s brother in the film, "Flicka"
Played a lead role in the horror movie, "Dead Silence"
Cast as Jason Stackhouse in the HBO vampire series, "True Blood"