"True Blood" star saddles up for Aussie western

Tue Nov 2, 2010 3:36am EDT
 
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By Lesley Goldberg

LOS ANGELES (Back Stage) - Ryan Kwanten loves westerns, so it didn't take much for him to sign on to first-time feature director Patrick Hughes' "Red Hill," a thriller that pays tribute to the genre and was filmed on location in Kwanten's native Australia.

The actor plays a dedicated, diligent yet innocent small-town cop, almost channeling Kwanten's small-screen alter ego, Jason Stackhouse of "True Blood," in the process.

He recently discussed "Red Hill," which opens on Friday; his burgeoning feature film career, which will include playing Charles Manson; and filming in Australia.

HOW DID "RED HILL" COME TO YOU?

It's been one of those Aussie surprises. It was the first time I'd worked back in Australia in about eight years. It wasn't my intention to go back there. What I liked about it was the throwback to the classic-style western. The character that I play, Shane Cooper, is very flawed, and I thought it was interesting to play a hero who was fallible.

SHANE'S BACKSTORY -- HE'S UNABLE TO PULL THE TRIGGER -- AND THE WHOLE CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRES AFTERWARD COMES UP HUGE AT THE END.

That to me was almost like watching Clint Eastwood or John Wayne before they turned into Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. It was what led them to that place.

DID YOU WATCH A LOT OF OLD WESTERNS TO PREP FOR "RED HILL"?   Continued...

 
<p>Actor Ryan Kwanten from the film "True Blood" arrives at the 25th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles, March 5, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>