Alex Ryan (Aaron Jeffery)
Alex has a history as a bit of a bad boy, a bit of a larrikin. His relationship with his father, Harry Ryan, was always explosive. He's been in fist fights with his brother Nick as well. He's a risk taker, a former rodeo star, a favourite with women and an easy friend to the men he works with. He's a great farmer too, if not a great stickler for detail, and he has the respect of all who know him well.
Claire McLeod was the love of Alex's life her death was a terrible blow. Alex gradually got back on his feet and found ways to open his heart again. His great mate, Stevie Hall, helped him through the darkness, and their friendship gradually grew into something much more.
During his time running Killarney, Alex has had more than a few battles with father Harry and mother-in-law Sandra, and more than one chance to evaluate where his life is heading. He nearly died in a water tank accident (saved by Stevie) and went bush after losing his brother. After a stinging personal attack from father Harry, Alex fled to the city where he became engaged to Fiona. Little did he realise that Stevie was about to profess her love to him.
It took Alex a long time to realise his marriage to Fiona was doomed, and that he should have married Stevie instead. During this time, Alex had to deal with the death of his father and the realisation that his stepmother Sandra had murdered him. After much soul searching, Alex ended his marriage to Fiona. But by then, events had conspired to drive Alex and Stevie apart. Desperate to get Fiona out of his life, Alex agreed to a massive divorce settlement. To afford this he accepted an offer from his birth father, shrewd city barrister Bryce Redstaff, to invest in Killarney. Bryce's offer seemed like a good idea at the time…
"The opportunity to live and work in the country is my dream," said Aaron, who experienced farm life before being offered the role of Alex Ryan.
Despite growing up in a New Zealand city, he was drawn to rural Australia. He was working on a property in NSW, taking time out of his busy acting career, when he auditioned for the role of Alex Ryan.
"The opportunity to combine farming and film making was too good to resist," Aaron said. He relocated to South Australia (leaving his horses and cattle behind) and bought a 130-year-old stone cottage near the set of McLeod's Daughters.
Jeffery says with its female lead cast the series is a "great benchmark for Australian television" and he relishes the role of Alex.
He finds he often plays darker characters, such as Prior in The Interview, and Alex in the theatre production of A Clockwork Orange. "This is the first chance I've had on a film to play the comic aspect, the larrikin," he said.
Jeffery graduated from NIDA in 1993. His film credits include Strange Planet, The Interview, Carcrash, Square One and Good Fruit. Television roles include Murder Call, Wildside, Water Rats and Blue Murder.