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The Aussie heart-throb talks to Kaye Holland about life after True Blood, Blinky Bill, Bogota and his new film Blunt Force Trauma.

So your latest film Blunt Force Trauma is soon to be released on DVD in the UK. Tell us a little about the movie, Ryan…
Sure I would love to. For me, it’s a modern day representation of one those existentialist road trip movies and it was such a nice departure to play a very iconic 70s style man. It really appealed because I feel like the modern day man has sort of been sugar coated a little too much. He's lost a little of his robustness, I guess we could say.
Getting back to the story of it all, my character John is a gun slinger on a journey to track down the greatest gun slinger of all time - Zorringer (Mickey Rourke) - and on the way to this meeting, he runs into Freida Pinto’s character, Colt, and they forge this bond. 
It was the relationship between John and Colt that really sold me on the project. They’re characters that you just don’t see anymore whether it’s in mainstream or indie films. I was really impressed by the writing - and the directing.

The film was shot in Colombia. Did you get much of a chance to see the country in between takes?
We filmed all over Bogota [the capital] including the favelas  - very poor neighbourhoods - where locals where literally just sitting out the entire time watching us. They would all cheer at the end of every take and really get behind the project. It was nice because Colombia has such a  tarnished reputation and they really do have a pretty flourishing film community down there, as far as their crews go. But in terms of really capturing Bogota or Colombia in film, it  hadn’t been done before - at least not to my knowledge or to a mainstream audience  - so it was nice to travel there and know that we were shooting in places that a Western audience had never seen. 

What was it like working with Mickey Rourke (Sin City) and Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire)?
Great as I hadn’t worked with either before. Freida was just an absolute darling - I would go to battle with her in a second. She really touched my heart and came to this role with such vigour and truth. And Mickey - well you know Mickey is Mickey.  He has his own legacy that he has really left on the business, and you can’t help but feel this when you’re on set. He makes you step up-to the plate and I appreciated that challenge.

We mentioned Mickey and Freida but they’re just two of the talents you have worked with. Who has been your favourite co-star to date and why?
Chris Bauer  who I worked with on True Blood.  Chris has been in the acting game for a good couple of decades, but has such a lustful way of looking at life and this gives him such a curiosity with who he is as a person - and then the choices that he makes in his characters. So yeah, Chris would be my choice.

It was arguably your role as the (often shirtless) Jason Stackhouse in HBO's True Blood - a supernatural series set in the fictitious US town of Bon Temps, Louisiana - that propelled you to fame. It’s been 14 months since the show wrapped – do you miss it?
I obviously miss the people but I was nostalgic about the show mid way through season two, yet alone at the end! I’m very chuffed and honoured that we managed to keep a crowd and continue the show for seven seasons. I was happy to do that... and then to let it lie.


Interview: Ryan Kwanten
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