Worked With:

Donnie Wahlberg

Matthew Bomer

Camille Guaty

Meryl Streep

Danny Masterson

Steven Seagal

Paul Soter

Jimmy Kimmel

Jay Chandrasekhar

Sarah Jessica Parker

Brooke Smith

Blanchard Ryan Biography

Home > Actresses > R > Ryan, Blanchard > Biography

Birth Name: Blanchard Ryan
Born: 01/12/1967
Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Ryan is the daughter of Ron Ryan, president of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and former Coach and General Manager to the now-defunct Hartford Whalers. Her father's station in life allowed her to attend the esteemed Phillips Academy at Andover. After graduation, Ryan went to the University of New Hampshire where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy. While at UNH, Ryan began modeling, and soon after graduating she landed bit parts on daytime soap operas. Ryan moved up the career ladder with an appearance as a saleswoman in the Running with Scissors episode of "Sex in the City" (HBO, 1998-2004). Ryan then appeared in the independently produced HIV drama, "Getting Off" (1998). Though it made the festival rounds, the movie was never theatrically released.

Ryan's career spent some time in limbo until she landed the part in "Open Water". She knew from the start that the project called for full frontal nudity and hours spent swimming with sharks and other nasty forms of sea life. Luckily, Ryan was already a certified scuba diver and proficient swimmer. Along with Travis and a crew of two-the husband-wife filmmaking duo of Chris Kentis and Laua Lau ("Grind")-Ryan spent her days twenty miles off the coast of Florida fighting currents, sunstroke, dehydration and fatigue. To cast his unwitting extras, Kentis tossed chum into the water, which initially petrified Ryan, who had to climb into the water with the predators once they had their fill. Once comfortable with her surroundings, Ryan quickly learned not to move or flail about, and her primal fears soon vanished, despite being bitten by a barracuda on the first day of shooting.

Though made on a sh string budget with no stars, "Open Water" garnished considerable attention after its showing at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Cheekily dubbed "the shark movie", the film was snatched up by Lions Gate after three days of negotiations, thus creating a lot of waves for the up-and-coming Ryan.