photographer / Sam Evans-Butler
story / Katie Deutsch
styling / Jonathan Lawhorne
grooming / Thea Istenes
Abs. Abs. Smile. Abs. Abs. Dimples. That’s what normally goes through my brain when Ryan Kwanten is mentioned. Don’t get me wrong – his comedic timing and lovable naiveté as Jason Stackhouse in HBO’s TRUE BLOOD is one of a kind, but I just turn into 7th grade girl goo when he appears on screen…or in my dreams.
You’d think Kwanten would take advantage of his abdominal super powers on a regular basis, but oh no, he’s one hell of a gentleman. When asked how he feels about TRUE BLOOD’s final season, he has a very down to earth vibe.
“The whole thing feels fantastic. From growing up in a coastal town to being on a HBO show, and for that show to last seven years, for me that’s still hard for me to comprehend,” he says. “There’s an amount of gratitude that comes with that… to have this success, I don’t take lightly.”
So how much of Kwanten do we see in his onscreen character? “I think in a weird way [Jason Stackhouse] has made me a better person, a better man, and I don’t think that I would have said that in the beginning,” Kwanten says. “He looks at everything with these wide, naïve eyes. To take that cynical hat off and approach things with innocence…it’s always more interesting to play characters like that, I think, who have faults rather than positive traits.”
Very rarely do you get a slice of humble pie served with this much handsome. Kwanten should have projects lined up from now until the end of 2037. What exactly is on the horizon for this cheeky Australian?
“It’s been crazy,” he says. “I finished three films over the last hiatus. After TRUE BLOOD ends, it’ll be the first time I’ll be free in eight or nine years. In a weird way, this show has taught me some patience. Every actor fights to see the door, to get a crack in the door, get inside the door and I feel like I’m almost in the room now and it’s nice to sit back and admire the landscape before really diving in again.”
So now that he has the time, how does Kwanten picture the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon? “I need to be near the water, the beach in some way or form. A beer, or bottle of wine, and some friends,” he says. “I’m a beach bum at heart.”
This sounds like dream date material. Even if this wasn’t the LOVE issue, we all would be clipping out Snoopy Valentines and writing Ryan’s name all over our Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers. Has he always been this laid back? Was there an emo-goth phase that nobody knows about? What keeps him grounded? To answer these questions, we offered him a magical DeLorean from “Back to the Future” so he could enlighten us, while giving young Ryan some sage advice.
“There’s an Emerson quote that is, ‘Everything that lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us,’” Kwanten says. “Teenagers are meant to be confused, bemused, and kind of annoyed by the world, and I wish I tapped into who I was. But also I think that’s the beauty in life: you make those stupid idiotic mistakes and try to learn from them as you can, and you move on. I’m happy that I made those mistakes.”
Now is the part where I have to tell you that Kwanten is not single. You can love him, but you aren’t allowed to LOVE Ryan Kwanten. Yes, this is a bummer, but in the spirit of all things romantic, he shared his first date details. “The first date that we had was a hike. We packed little knapsacks and I had some margarita thing that I had made. We hiked up to a picnic spot and we chatted.”
It wasn’t even Trader Joe’s ‘Two Buck Chuck’ or a sixer of beer- the man made his own margaritas! This guy thinks outside the box and then takes you up a hill for a chat.
Plus, he has even more words of wisdom. When asked if he prefers Jay-Z or Bob Marley, he responds with a mind deafening philosophy: “I would love to hear Jay-Z do like a gray album with Bob Marley.” The world just shouted ‘YES!’ at once. Done. Let’s do that. Everyone agrees.
Tacos or Sushi? “SUSH! NO….PIZZA! Hands down. I bought a pizza maker… I experiment with Nutella, coconut flakes, strawberries… I’ve got a whole set of sweets.” Strawberries and chocolate. Damn. This is starting to sound romantic again. What’s your one sentence take on love, Ryan?
“Give me a minute, I’m going to try to be inspiring.” He laughs. “Don’t seek it, but let it come to you. Find that middle ground. You can’t go looking for it but you can’t run away from it either. Only then can you love someone else.”
From talking to Kwanten, one would assume that everyone, even his mail carrier, falls in love with him. My wild guess is that Cupid pierced him with an arrow and sent him directly to Alan Ball’s TRUE BLOOD casting couch. So make a batch of margaritas and an oven full of Nutella pizza, because your butt is watching Ryan on the last season of TRUE BLOOD every Sunday on HBO.
After that, you’ll just have to Facebook stalk him like the rest of his ex-girlfriends.
Red floral blazer., Hentsch Man. Gents t-shirt., ‘Bird on a Wire’ Creative Recreation. Black Fleece, Brooks Brothers.