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Ryan Corr was 13 when we first saw him on Australian TV. Now, he's on the biggest show in the world.

Mamamia logo Mamamia 27/09/2022 Shannen Findlay

When the call came informing Ryan Corr that he'd landed the role of Ser Harwin Strong in House of the Dragon, he knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime. 

"When I first wanted to be an actor as a young boy, you know, these are the sort of [roles] you dream of. So to be here, you have to pinch yourself," he told New Idea during the Sydney premiere for the highly coveted HBO prequel. 

"I was like a schoolboy excited about it when I found out about it [and] I was like an excited schoolboy when I rocked up on set."

Corr has spent decades building up his acting portfolio, and it has been a tireless labour of love.

Watch: The trailer for House of the Dragon season one. Post continues after video. 

Video via HBO.

We first met the Australian actor when he was 13 years old in Silversun as the spiky-haired teen Sheng Zammett and soon after as the cheeky Matthew McDougal in The Sleepover Club. 

"I decided pretty early this is what I want to do," Corr explained to Now To Love.

"I think a couple of teachers thought I was acting out [at school] so when I did my first play, that was like, well, you're good at that, put your energies into that."

He officially became a staple in the Australian media landscape when he later appeared as Eric in Blue Water High. In fact, we're pretty sure any millennial (or well-informed Gen Z'er) would be able to recognise him in that role.

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Matthew McDougal in The Sleepover Club. Image: Southern Star Entertainment.

Corr went on to score small parts in Blue Heelers in 2005 and Neighbours in 2006 – all the while he was studying acting at NIDA. After graduating at the age of 21, he played in the 2009 film Where The Wild Things Are. A year later, he put his acting chops to the test in the Australian drama classic, Underbelly: The Golden Mile. 

In 2012, his career took a different but positive turn when he appeared in the romantic comedy film, Not Suitable For Children.

In an interview with The Courier Mailhe revealed his love for acting has been what's kept him on the straight and narrow path.

"It's always been about the love of the work for me," he said. "When I find myself at the point when I'm not enjoying it – or when I'm falling into habits or something is becoming routine – that's not what I'm into this for. I'm in this to be excited by the stories that I'm telling and the characters that I'm playing."

One of Corr's biggest roles was as Coby Jennings in Packed to the Rafters. The show ended in 2013 but had a reboot series in 2020. By then though, Corr had decided he didn't want to take part.

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"Everyone in the Rafters' cast are still dear friends of mine," he explained to Now To Love.

"I think we're focusing a little more on the nuclear family that started off the series. So I've been in contact, but I'm not going to be involved with it."

Corr then got pickier with his career choices. He became more strategic about which projects he was going to work on because, in his own words, he wasn't an actor "for the fame" but instead wanted to be a serious, respected actor.

"I’m not chasing fame or any of that s**t – obviously I want to do the best work I can and reach a wide audience," he admitted to GQ in 2015. "But I’d eventually like to take it back to Australia and be an influence like Geoffrey Rush, Richard Roxburgh or Cate Blanchett – they followed their dreams, made it to the top echelon, and can share that with Australia and America."

His next opportunity was one that was sure to cement him in the cinema scene – playing the role of English tourist Paul Hammersmith in the horror film Wolf Creek 2.

"Definitely there's an emotional hangover that comes with a film like this," he explained to news.com.au in February 2014. "I have lost my voice five times already and I can often be emotionally exhausted, but I will come home and listen to my music and talk to my family."

Furthering his screen success, last year Corr landed the dream role: a place on HBO's sequel series, House of the Dragon. 

His character, Ser Harwin 'Breakbones' Strong, is considered to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms. He is the eldest son of Master of Laws Lyonel Strong and heir to Harrenhal. Not only that, but he is the secret lover of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and the rumoured father of three of her children. 

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Ser Harwin 'Breakbones' Strong in House of the Dragon. Picture: HBO.

"It was kind of funny because when this part came up I hadn’t cut my hair in maybe two and half years, right?" he explained to New Idea.

"So, you know, this Game of Thrones role came up and I just sort of stepped out of my bed and they were like 'oh great you look like you’re from Middle Earth'."

And it's a look that has gone down well with fans, with subreddits and Tweets labelling Corr's character as the 'Sword Daddy' of the show. 

Despite this fame – on and off the screen – Corr is actively trying to not let himself get too caught up in any of the attention.  

"There’s a subconscious pressure that can creep up if you are not careful," he told If.com.au. "What Miguel and Ryan [co-creator and former co-showrunner] talked to us about on set and during the auditions is alleviating all that from your mind.

"They said, 'We don’t want people on here acting like they are going to be on Game of Thrones, it’s about bringing yourself to the forefront and humanising these people'."

Feature Image: Supplied.

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