Ryan Kwanten: Kwanten Leap

There’s more to the True Blood himbo than meets the naked eye — including a wild new role, a younger gay brother, and a surprisingly humble outlook on acting.



Your family was totally accepting?
There was never an issue. My parents always encouraged an open channel of communication, so we talked about that and everything else. That’s something lacking in a lot of modern-day families — just talking. It’s almost a lost art form.

You grew up in Sydney. Did you ever accompany Lloyd to Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras?
No, I didn’t. From what I hear, it’s intended as a one-day affair, but you pretty much go to bed three or four days later.

The media makes such a fuss over your sex appeal. Do you mind when interviewers focus on your hot body and frequent nude scenes? I get the impression it may annoy you.
I’m willing to talk about that to a certain extent if that’s what they want to talk about. I just don’t want a whole interview to be about that, because that’s not what I’m about. I’m happy to break down any pigeonhole they want to put me in.

Would you secretly love to get fat for a role — or wear a big prosthetic nose like fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman in The Hours?
There’s no secret desire. That said, I just did an animated film, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and it was nice to hide behind those feathers. I love shooting True Blood, but in the six months that I get off, nothing would be more uninspiring than stepping into a character exactly like Jason Stackhouse. I just want the work to challenge me. I’m a masochist at heart, so I love being told I can’t play something and then proving them wrong.

So you’d sacrifice abs for a part?
Oh, absolutely. I’m committed to this profession, so whatever it takes. Actually, I have to lose a bunch of weight after shooting True Blood season 4 to play a serial killer [Charles Manson in The Family], so that’ll be a nice change of pace. I guess a lot of running will be in order.

Do you worry about your looks upstaging your talent?
Excellent question. No, I don’t. Even if I’ve got a leading man face or whatever you want to call it, I still very much enjoy delving into a character. I come from the land down under, where we’re used to roughing it, so I’ll get down and dirty with the best of them.

You’ve posed for some very sexy, often very revealing photo shoots in your career. Most are pretty classy, but my personal favorites are the promotional images for the 2002 Sydney production of Nicky Silver’s Fit to Be Tied.
[Laughs] Oh, yes, I know the ones you’re referring to.

Did you have to be coaxed into wearing Calvin Klein undies and angel wings?
Yes, I did. And I’ll just leave it at that.
Tags: television