Ryan Kwanten Explores Sexuality in True Blood and Other Roles

August 16, 2009 by  

ryan_kwanten9000x0297x600Before Ryan Kwanten became intimately acquainted with True Blood‘s “Sock of Destiny” (as the cast jokingly refers to the wardrobe item for the guys in one of their many naked scenes), he was playing a bisexual angel on the stage.

Fit to Be Tied, by playwright Nicky Silver, ran for several months in 2002 at a theatre in Ryan‘s hometown, Sydney, Australia. Ryan played Boyd, a young man who has run away from his family and works as an angel in the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. When the wealthy Arloc Simpson becomes overwhelmed with loneliness and fear of dying, he meets Boyd and, convinced that this is his last chance to be happy, kidnaps him and keeps him tied up in his apartment. The story examines the power of love and family, albeit in an unconventional manner.

According to the director of the play, Ryan delivered a great performance:

“The gay aspects of the character were in no way an issue for him, and everyone who saw the play found him utterly convincing.”

The author of an article for the Atlanta Examiner focuses in on the experience Ryan gained from playing a bisexual in Fit to Be Tied, stating that it has carried over into his role as Jason Stackhouse on True Blood. The writer discusses the relationship between Jason and his rival at the Light of Day leadership conference, Luke MacDonald:

The two “frenemies” have a same-sex attraction, and that’s a surprise for Jason.

As an example, he cites the chemistry between the two during the flag football game when they keep tackling each other. Hmmm…That’s a pretty big leap from what we saw happening during that scene in “Keep This Party Going,” episode 2 of season 2. Jason‘s competitive nature came alive when Luke hit him really hard, so he took his shirt off, tied it around his head, and showed his determination to win.

When watching this, I didn’t get a vibe from Jason that said, “Hey, Luke, check me out.” Rather, it was like, “Hey, Luke, I’m used to being the alpha male, so I’m going to prove to everyone that I’m the best.” Going shirtless is more of Jason in his natural state than him making a sexual gesture.

jason-stackhouse-ryan-kwantenRyan Kwanten is clearly very comfortable with his body and with who he is. Whether he’s being intimate with a guy in a play, or getting physical with almost every woman in Bon Temps and the surrounding area, Ryan does it convincingly. I think the great testament to his talent as an actor is that he manages to add dimensions to a seemingly one-sided character like Jason. He has to play a foolish, immature, sex-driven guy, yet he never seems to be judging Jason for the poor decisions he makes, or trying to turn him into a joke. When you watch interviews with Ryan, he talks about how he recognizes Jason‘s flaws and tries to make people to feel emotionally connected to him in spite of those flaws.

Jason‘s heart is in the right place. Even when he is a mindless idiot who allows people to brainwash him and plant their babies in his head, he comes around in the end.

SOURCES: www.examiner.com, www.dramatists.com

(Photo credits: Google Images)