Recently, Ryan Kwanten’s film, The Right Kind of Wrong premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and in an interview below, he talks about his thoughts on acting and life in general. Below are excerpts from an interview he gave with o.canada.com.
Ryan Kwanten loves acting. “I never feel more at home than I do when I’m on a film set,” he says. “I feel my heart rate is more at ease than it is in real life.”
He loves true-crime stories. “I love the psychology or the breakdown of a mind. How far can you push the human psyche, physically or emotionally? I like to see characters overcome resistance and being resilient.”
He loved the 2009 prison movie A Prophet: It’s three hours long, and he was sitting at the end of the first row, so his neck was all twisted, but he says he didn’t move off the edge of his seat.
What he doesn’t love, though, are romantic comedies. “I find them so overly romantic and overly sappy.”
Yet here he is, the star of The Right Kind of Wrong, a romantic comedy that he didn’t find sappy at all. It’s about a dishwasher named Leo Palamino who is dumped by his girlfriend, who then goes off to write an exposé about all his faults. Meantime, he falls for someone else’s bride, and pursues her through many obstacles until the happy ending.
“I’m very quietly ambitious,” Kwanten says. “I like to think there’s a storm rumbling inside of me. But having played a character like Leo Palamino, in a weird way he has made me a better man.” Leo has an unlikely goal, but as Kwanten notes, “Who’s to say that’s not possible?”
“I take pride in choosing projects I haven’t done before,” Kwanten says. “It was Einstein who said the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. And for me, playing the same character I’ve played before couldn’t be more unmysterious.” Leo Palamino “was a really nice character to try to sink my teeth into and get to know.”
A TV role can be a lot of the same thing, but Jason Stackhouse has changed enough through the six seasons of True Blood — that he remains interesting.
“What makes it so exciting for me to keep going back season after season is that he started so low on the evolutionary totem pole that he could only grow,” Kwanten says. “So every season there is somewhere for him to go. It’s not like he’s this kind of superhero-type character in season one where he’s got no flaws and there’s nowhere for him to go. He’s rife with flaws when we first see him. He’s constantly trying to make himself a better man. There’s always a struggle. That’s what I like in playing characters.”
Because Ryan has had no formal acting training, he says he puts a lot of himself into each part that he plays. “No one can do me better than me. If even five per cent, 15 per cent of me is in any of the characters I play, then it makes it unique. It makes it something no one else can do. In a weird way it’s a talent that I have.”
So does that mean we can see who he is by the people he plays?
“Oscar Wilde said, ‘Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth,” Kwanten replies. “I can almost live vicariously and better through my characters in a way. And happier.”