Xavier Samuel (born 10 December 1983) is an Australian actor. He has appeared in leading roles in the feature films September, Further We Search, Newcastle, The Loved Ones and A Few Best Men, and played Riley Biers in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Samuel was born in Hamilton, Victoria, the son of Maree and Clifford Samuel. He grew up in Adelaide, South Australia and graduated from Rostrevor College in 2001. Xavier has a younger brother, Benedict Samuel, who is a writer, producer and actor. He also has an older sister Bridget Samuel who is a stage manager.
Despite completing his senior secondary years at Rostrevor College, Samuel undertook final year drama at Christian Brothers College under the tutelage of Amanda Portus. During the same year, he played the part of Tom Snout (the wall) in Rostrevor College's production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as playing the part of Belvile in CBC's production of Aphra Behn's The Rover (The Banished Cavaliers).
Samuel attended Flinders University Drama Centre in 2005, where he studied under renowned acting teacher Professor Julie Holledge. He played Hamlet in the graduate production. Samuel made his debut on an Australian TV show named McLeod's Daughters in 2003. He starred in the Australian horror movie Road Train as Marcus, and also acted in the Australian movie Drowning with Elephant Princess star Miles Szanto, directed by Craig Boreham. In 2009, he was cast as Brent in the Australian horror/thriller movie The Loved Ones in the lead role opposite Robin McLeavy.
Although it received several award nominations, the film was a financial failure. In early 2010, Samuel was cast as Riley Biers in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The film gave Samuel his first blockbuster film worldwide. Samuel received his first award nomination and win at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. In an interview with GQ Australia in November 2010, Samuel described the process of his shock Twilight casting. "I sent off the audition tape from Sydney, which landed in a big pile on someone's desk. So then to actually hear something back was kind of unusual. I guess I was a bit of a gamble, but it's bizarre and wonderful."
Samuel appeared in the 2011 film Anonymous. He plays a lead role in A Few Best Men (2011/2012). He was cast in 3D feature Bait, released in September 2012 and short film Sanctuary, which was also released in 2012. In 2013 he played Ian in Adore/Two Mothers alongside Robin Wright and Naomi Watts. Samuel follows Australian rules football and is a supporter of the Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League.
Samuel is currently in a relationship with fellow Australian actress, Emily Browning.
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