An interview on the Jenny Jones talk show landed him an agent, and within a month he had roles in Spy Kids: 3D (2003) with Bobby Edner, and Bad Santa (2003), and he was helping Austin Kutcher play celebrity pranks on Punked.
But there was a problem. Although handsome and muscular, Ryan was somewhat too short to play heartthrobs, and he had already been typecast as an aggressive wise guy, basically a jerk. So that's the sort of role he received:
Next came the boorish Felch in Revenge of the Nerds (2006), chronic liar Sam Leonard in Full of It (2007), and Fletcher in the execrably homophobic College (2008), with Drake Bell
(which paradoxically offered an extensive homoerotic subtext).
But then he hit the bottom of the barrel: teen sex comedies. Foreign Exchange (2008), Extreme Movie (2008) with Frankie Muniz, Adventures in Online Dating (2009).
But then, in 2010, something remarkable happened: a complete turnaround. Ryan's characters changed from jerks to nice guys, and coincidentally some buddy-bonding was added to the girl-crazy schtick.
Tower Prep (2010), about a school for kids with paranormal powers: his Gabe has a crush on Ian Archer (Drew Van Acker).
Since Ryan is living with a man, fellow actor Sterling Knight, he's been the subject of gay speculation. But he hasn't made any public pro-gay or anti-gay statements.