Ryan began working in theater at the age of five, in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the eldest of four. Ryan completed a Bachelor of Arts at New Zealand's Otago University in 2000, majoring in Theater. He then went on to study Performance Art at New Zealand Drama School. Ryan's first television role came half way through his second year at drama school. He played one of the leads, a reformed criminal called 'Brad', in 'The Insider's Guide to Love'. A seven-part series based around a diverse group of young people whose lives become inextricably inter-linked. Ryan latter won 'best actor in a drama series' at the Qantas media awards for that role. His second television gig was playing 'Daniel', a uniform cop on TVNZ's police drama, 'The Hothouse'. After working on several New Zealand feature films including Paul Murphy's 'Second Hand Wedding' and a short film 'Crossing the line', directed by Sir Peter Jackson, Ryan moved to Melbourne Australia after landing a lead role in the long running detective drama 'City Homicide'. Ryan has more recently been working on the New Zealand movie 'Tangiwai' which saw him play Bob Blair, a New Zealand fast bowler in the 50's, and has completed filming on Tom Scott's second film 'Rage', about the 1981 springbok rugby tour of New Zealand.