A role with teeth but not much else

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News - ERIN McWHIRTER

ONE-TIME Aussie soap ac­tor Ryan Kwan­ten knew his star­ring role in new vam­pire drama True Blood was go­ing to be dif­fer­ent the mo­ment he walked into his trailer.

Cre­ated by Six Feet Un­der’s Alan Ball and star­ring Os­car win­ner Anna Paquin, True Blood fol­lows the smoul­der­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween mind-read­ing Louisiana bar­maid Sookie Stack­house (Paquin) and vam­pire Bill Comp­ton (Stephen Moyer).

A se­ri­ously buff Kwan­ten (left) spends much of his time without clothes, play­ing Sookie’s li­bidi­nous True Blood, MA Show­case, Tues­day 8.30pm (from Fe­bru­ary 10) Vam­pire mys­ter­ies Du­ra­tion: 1 hour brother Ja­son. Kwan­ten’s first scene in­volved Ja­son raun­chily mak­ing love with one of the Louisiana lo­cals.

‘‘Usu­ally when I walk into my trailer there is a rack full of clothes for my char­ac­ter to wear, but on the first day of True Blood the only thing hang­ing there was a man-patch,’’ Kwan­ten says with a laugh.

Kwan­ten is back in Aus­tralia for Christ­mas and New Year af­ter US broad­caster HBO an­nounced pro­duc­tion will be­gin on a sec­ond sea­son of True Blood in Jan­uary.

The for­mer Home and Away ac­tor hasn’t had much time to cel­e­brate, though. In­stead he has been con­fined to a sound booth voic­ing a char­ac­ter in the an­i­mated fea­ture film Guardians of Ga’Hoole, which is tipped to be worth $100 mil­lion.

Kwan­ten ar­rived in Aus­tralia a week ago and went straight to work at Syd­ney-based pro­duc­tion firm An­i­mal Logic, the mas­ter­minds be­hind the Academy Award-winning hit Happy Feet.

The 32-year-old says he’s go­ing to be in good act­ing com­pany when the film, about a young barn owl and his friends at­tempt­ing to es­cape the evil clutches of a band of rogue owls, is re­leased in 2010. Fel­low Aus­tralian ac­tors Hugh Jack­man and Hugo Weav­ing are ex­pected to lend their voices to the film.

Since arriving in Hol­ly­wood seven years ago with lit­tle money and only a bi­cy­cle to get to au­di­tions, Kwan­ten has worked hard to build a US act­ing ca­reer.

His turn as Aus­tralian surfer Jay Robert­son in US drama Summerland was well re­ceived by crit­ics and that was fol­lowed by movies Flicka, Amer­ica Brown and Dead Si­lence.

‘‘I look back and I don’t feel like an overnight suc­cess, it re­ally feels like I’ve worked for it,’’ Kwan­ten says.

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