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Ryan Kwanten is an Australian actor who became famous for playing Jason Stackhouse on the hit HBO vampire drama True Blood.
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Kwanten struggled to find work during his first months in California. Broke and dejected, he strongly considered returning home. However, with a sudden burst of inspiration fueled by desperation, Kwanten walked up to the owner of the hotel where he had been staying and declared, "'Look, I've stayed at the hotel for the last three nights. I've paid. I don't have any more money. But what I'm going to offer you is this: you're going to let me stay at the hotel for free,
for three months. You can put me in the store room, you can put me on the stairs, I don't care. I just need a place to put my minimal luggage. At the end of that three months, I'm going to pay you back every red cent and I'm going to recommend the hotel every single time after that.' He said sure. And that was the start of something."
Those three months proved ample time for Kwanten to get his Hollywood acting career off the ground. He landed several guest spots on television shows, and in 2004 he landed a key role on the WB drama series Summerland. Kwanten then landed his most prominent role to date in 2008, when he was cast in the Alan Ball-created HBO drama True Blood, a show adapted from The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. Kwanten plays Jason Stackhouse, the show's resident playboy and younger brother of main character Sookie Stackhouse.
True Blood has become a huge hit, elevating Ryan Kwanten (along with the rest of the cast) to the status of international celebrity. Kwanten's frequent shirtless scenes in True Blood have introduced his rippling muscles to adoring fans across the globe.
Ryan Kwanten remains unmarried and, based on his observations of the domestic lives of his married friends, he insists that he is not yet ready to settle down. "I'm the friend they leave the kids or baby or dog with, then I hand them back. I enjoy doing that," he says.
While Kwanten is generally very humble, on one subject he his unabashedly proud: his work ethic. He pours his heart into his auditions and his roles, and he works out for more than two hours every day to remain in peak physical condition. Kwanten attributes his extraordinary drive to succeed to his background as a competitive athlete. "I have that sporting background where I want to be the best," he says. "I want to be the champion. If I'm knocked down, you're damn sure I'm getting back up again. A lot of actors who may very well be more talented than me don't have that kind of tenacity in the face of rejection. That resilience gives me a distinct advantage."
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The American television series True Blood, created and produced by Alan Ball, premiered in 2008 and quickly developed a cult following of fans with a thirst for the supernatural. Based on Charlain Harris’ book series The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the Emmy Award-winning TV show follows an otherworldly cast of characters including telepaths, shapeshifters, werewolves and vampires. Here are some of the actors who have sunk their teeth into True Blood roles.
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