Credit: HBO/John P. Johnson Photo: Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse

True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten is known to us all as the southern-accented, sex-crazed, soft-hearted (and some might say soft-head) Jason Stackhouse, brother to Sookie Stackhouse. This man who seems as American as tractors, baseball, and apple pie, is in fact a native of Sydney, Australia.

Ryan was born November 28th 1976, to Eddie and Kris Kwanten. He is the oldest in a family of three boys. The acting bug hit his family fairly early on, with both of his brothers working as actors from a very young age. Ryan didn’t join them in their new-found love, preferring to spend his time doing anything and everything there is to do involving sports and athletics.

Although the sports he participated in included everything from running, swimming, surfing and more, Kwanten excelled at wrestling and by fifteen was a welterweight champion. Fifteen proved to be a lucky age for Kwanten as it also marked his first real foray into the world of acting. When waiting for his mother in a hot car proved too tedious, he went into the theatrical agency where his brother was set to audition to get his mother to leave. Cajoled into auditioning himself, Kwanten found himself agented and before long was acting in the Australian soap hit Home and Away until 1988.

Success in his new-found career didn’t stop Kwanten from completing his education. He attended St. Paul’s Catholic College in Manly, and went on to earn a degree from the University of Sydney where he studied economics and commerce, something that is almost impossible to imagine the character that made him famous accomplish.

After his stint on Home and Away, Kwanten made the leap across the waters and settled in L.A. where he worked continually on the big and little screens, serving as a supporting actor in movies like Dead Silence and Flicka. In 2007, he caught Alan Ball’s eye and found himself joining the ranks of the True Blood cast as Jason Stackhouse.