True Blood Star Tackles Charles Manson Bio-Pic

Ryan Kwanten is moving from "True Blood" to bloodthirsty.

The often shirtless actor is gearing up to play notorious killer Charles Manson in an upcoming film called "The Family," he said at the press day for his new film, "Red Hill," a nouveau spaghetti western set in the Australian high country.

Kwanten said the new role is part of the next phase in his career, one that allows him a bit more creative control over some of his future projects. In addition to playing the Helter Skelter psycho, Kwanten's upcoming projects include next year's satirical self-help book "The G Strategy" and a handful of acting jobs and upcoming hyphenate turns as actor-producer of the Australian film, "The Twenty-Something Survival Guide."

Though still in the early stages of development, Ryan also told us Brad Anderson, who previously directed one of Christian Bale's finest performances in the brilliantly chilling 2004 film "The Machinist," is attached to the film which would delve into Manson and the murders his followers committed.

What's truly unsettling to us is how appealing that sounds.

Kwanten would bring a whole new dimension to Manson, one of the most disturbing and loathsome human beings ever to walk the face of the earth. When looking at the atrocities Manson convinced people to commit, its nearly impossible for people to imagine him as anything but a monster (which he is). But there had to be a reason his followers were swayed and we're fascinated by the idea of watching Kwanten illuminate the magnetic, charismatic, alluring side the cult leader must have possessed.

Best known for his shirtless antics as Jason Stackhouse, one of Bon Temps stupidest and most oversexed residents, shunning the easy eye candy parts Kwanten is undoubtedly offered in favor of demanding, complicated work confirms our theory that the young Aussie might be one of the most promising actors on television. Incredibly serious about his craft, thoughtful and intelligent, we fear he suffers from the Heath Ledger-Brad Pitt Syndrome; men better recognized for their beauty and body than formidable talents.

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