A role with teeth but not much else
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.