Date of Birth
20 December 1988, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
5' 10½" (1.79 m)
Rhys Wakefield is an Australian actor who first started out as a regular on the Australian TV series Home and Away where he starred in 363 episodes.
In 2008 he was nominated for Best Actor in a Feature Film by the Australian Film Institute and the Australian Film Critics Circle for his role in The Black Balloon. Rhys followed this by playing the lead in James Cameron's underwater thriller Sanctum and is known more recently for his work portraying the Polite Leader in The Purge franchise.
Wakefield co-wrote and directed the short film A Man Walks Into a Bar, which was a finalist at the 2013 Tropfest International Short Film Festival in Sydney. In 2016, his screenplay Please Close the Gate was officially selected for the Beverly Hills Film Festival and was a feature finalist at the Cinequest Screenwriting competition.
Went to the same school as Sarah Murdoch (O'Hare), Nikki Webster, Josh Quong Tart, Bojana Novakovic and many other prominent Australians in the entertainment industry. The McDonalds College of Performing arts in Sydney.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Filming "Cardboard Boxer". [October 2013]
Jakarta, Indonesia: Filming "The Philosophers" [June 2011]
Before he started training for Sanctum (2007) he could hold his breath for 45 seconds. After training and filming his record was one minute and twenty seconds.
[on the underpants scene in The Black Ballon]: I'm the kind of guy that gets nervous being half-naked in my room, so considering there was a whole crew as well as randoms in their cars watching... yeah, I was pretty freaked out about it.
Uh, what can I say... Kissing a supermodel? All in a day's work! Actually, that was really nerve-wracking. I was more nervous to meet her than I was to meet Toni Collette, because I knew we'd have to get personal. And, you know, she's a supermodel... and I'm not. - On kissing Gemma Ward in The Black Balloon (2008)
We wore massive tracksuits and laid out cushions so we could wrestle, and we played Twister and danced to '90s music so, by the time those kissing scenes happened, we felt really comfortable with each other. - On how the director of The Black Balloon (2008) helped Rhys and Gemma Ward break the barrier before their kissing scene in the movie
I met the director's [Elissa Down] brother - whom Charlie is based on - and Luke Ford, who plays Charlie, and I went road-testing in character. We went around the shopping center and to the movies, and it was surprising to see how people reacted to us, how ignorant some people are about autism. Some people assumed he was some kind of axe-murderer out to get them, so they'd freeze up or they'd give us really weird stares like we were the freaks. - On road-testing for The Black Balloon (2008)
I went on a dive in between the shoot [of Sanctum (2007)] that I didn't tell the producers about because I don't think that was really allowed. I was on holiday over New Years so I was in Fiji on this tiny island. I went diving with sharks for my first dive outside of training. I got out on the boat and the guy said "So you've dived before?" and I said "Oh yeah, I've dived a bunch of times." Then when I'm down there, I think I went through 60 minutes of air in half an hour. There were sharks surrounding me. It was amazing but I kept that to myself until toward the end of the shoot.