Born in Pickering, Ontario, Kristen Holden-Reid was studying at Montreal's Concordia University School of Business when he went to his first audition and landed the leading role in 12th century drama Young Ivanhoe. It helped that he was a champion competitor in riding and fencing. Holden-Reid is a…more
He is currently single but is also father to a six year old boy.
He enjoys driving fast, crediting his German heritage, and their autobahns, for that habit.
He enjoys wearing bracelets. While filming in Morocco, he purchased his favorite one. "It was one of those things you see in a bustling bazaar. It just popped out at me. I paid far too much money for it as I didn't know how to bargain for it, but I love it. It's a beautiful piece that summarizes that entire experience for me."
He has a tattoo on his back that is in English but, because of the design, is unreadable.
If he could have a superpower, he would want to be a jedi.
He is a former member of the Canadian National Pentathlon Team.
Kris Holden-Ried: You know what I think every situation when it comes to love and two people connecting with each other is unique. There is no one answer to that. Some people absolutely. They meet when they're seventeen and they love each other for their entire lives and they have an incredible relationship that builds and grows and, you know, hats off to those people. I come from...I never met that one and I continue to search. And for me it's about experience, you know, the more people you know, as you grow, you learn about yourself, you learn about other people and, eventually, you get to a place where, yes, there may be that one for you. I certainly hope so.
Kris Holden-Ried: Getting half naked in front of the camera and an audience of potentially half a million people definitely makes you want to work out more.
Kris Holden-Ried: What happens is that I intuitively start making changes in myself. I've noticed this over the years and I now realize it's part of my technique. My process uses intuition and a mood shift which then leads to physical and emotional changes. For example, I'll start moving or talking like my character would, sometimes while I am doing very menial tasks, such as cooking for myself or cleaning the kitchen.
Kris Holden-Ried: Let's just say that Dyson is the me that I wish I could pretend to be. It's not just his physicality, but I also get to pretend that I have a wolf inside of me. It's me plus wolf.
Kris Holden-Ried: Dyson is a challenging character too. He has a certain masculinity and is a very old character with a lot of history. But he is fun to play, the physical side of him is great because it gets me into great shape and I get to use my body.
Kris Holden-Ried: Up until then, I had pretty much been playing a version of myself: angry Kris, scared Kris, tentative Kris. With Giles, I had to be British and I had to be gay, and that meant creating a character, someone I was not. I am not British and I am not gay and that made me very nervous about that film. When I watched it for the first time, I thought I was the worst thing in it, but other people said they really liked me in it. That was a huge learning lesson for me.
Kris Holden-Ried: In my mind I am wearing all sorts of hats. Definitely writing to begin with. I would also like to develop a TV series.
Kris Holden-Ried: I love an evening with some nice red wine. I love the sound of music, sitting around and playing guitar or the piano... I am a great guy to have dinner with.
Dave Golder: When you were a teenager you represented Canada in the pentathlon. How did you make the leap from that into acting?
Kris Holden-Ried: The decision came very naturally. I actually did want to be an actor when I was younger, but my father didn't want to hear anything about it. And you know what? I went with his decision. I said, 'Yeah, maybe you're right. I don't know anything about acting.' It's one of those dream things. Like wanting to be president of the United States. And I'm not even American. So I was on the national Pentathlon team for a few years, but there was no funding for athletes in Canada. I was in a massive amount of personal debt at the age of 21, so I joined a little modelling and talent agency to get a some work, to do anything so that I didn't have to drop out of school. And an audition came up for a role in this film called Young Ivanhoe, and they asked me if I could act. And I wasn't sure but I said I would give it a try. I went into the audition and I just had a natural ability, and I had the right look – I looked European, with long, blond hair back then – and I had the abilities they needed: sword fighting, horse riding. So to this day I'm thankful to that producer, and especially that director, who took a huge risk going with a completely inexperienced actor and gave him a lead role in this movie. They flew me over to France for two months and we were shooting six days a week about 17 hours a day. So that was my first experience of acting – a trial by fire – and I came out of it absolutely loving it. Dropped out of school, and been an actor ever since.
Christina Radish: How has this entire ensemble of actors been to work with? Was there a moment when you guys really felt things start to come together?
Kris Holden-Ried: We've been so lucky. All of the actors who work on the show are fantastic, outstanding people, in their own right. Sometimes you hear these nightmare stories about big egos, but we have none of that on our show. We have a great crew. They're fantastic, from the production designer to the lighting to the director of photography. Our producers are supportive. We have a really lovely working environment, and we're really realizing just how fortunate we are to have this.
Christina Radish: What's it been like to work with Anna Silk and develop the relationship between your characters?
Kris Holden-Ried: Anna has been fantastic! This is her first big lead in a series and she has applied herself like no one I've ever seen. She has an amazing work ethic. She is also one of the most sincere and lovely people I've ever met in my life. She's a fantastic lead of a show because she really works her ass off and is everybody's friend. Her and I have had a great time developing our own relationship, outside of the show, which is very respectful, and that's really helped us with our positions with our characters on the show as well.
Kris Holden-Ried: I apologize in advance for not being an avid tweeter. I try to share when I can. Please be patient if I don't reply, or try again in a couple days. Be well :)