March 8, 1972
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Matt Nable never intended on becoming an actor. In fact, he was a professional athlete for most of his early 20s, having played for two high-profile Australian rugby teams, before retiring from the sport to become a writer. Like most newbie authors, Nable wrote about what he knew, eventually turning his experiences on the rugby field into the screenplay for the 2007 sports drama "The Final Winter," which he also starred in. Although the film failed to find an audience, it showcased Nable's talent as an actor - a skill he never knew he had - and in the years that followed, he began making a name for himself playing tough-guy roles in big-budget action movies such as "Killer Elite" (2011) and "Riddick" (2013). Nable may have never set his sights on acting, but by 2013 he was proving to the Hollywood establishment just how talented he was at it.A native of Sydney's Northern Beaches, Nable grew up around rugby players. His father worked as a trainer for Australia's national team, with a young Nable often accompanying him to games. An athletic child, Nable began playing rugby professionally in his late teens, making a name for himself on the field as a member of the revered rugby clubs, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs. By the age of 23, however, Nable decided to retire permanently from the sport. He briefly tried his hand at boxing, but soon felt compelled to write about his experiences as a professional rugby player. Although initially penned as an unpublished novel, Nable went on to write a screenplay for 2007's "The Final Winter." The film, which was financed largely through donations from friends and family, received overwhelmingly positive reviews, most notably for Nable's performance as a disenchanted rugby player who becomes frustrated with the commercial direction of the game. Despite its glowing reception, however, the movie was a financial disappointment at the box office. Undeterred, Nable began landing recurring roles as tough-as-nails detectives on the Australian crime dramas "East West 101" (SBS, 2007-2011) and "Underbelly" (Nine Network, 2008). Before long Hollywood began to take notice, and he was subsequently cast in similar roles in the action films "Killer Elite" and "Riddick," the latter of which was director David Twohy's follow-up to the 2004 sci-fi action extravaganza "The Chronicles of Riddick."