Sean Faris

Sean Faris famously played Jake Tyler in “Never Back Down” and Kyo Kusanagi in “The King of Fighters”. However, despite being active in the entertainment industry since 2001, fans of the model and actor are disappointed to see that he’s practically disappeared from the public eye.

Born on 25th March 1982, in Houston, Texas, USA, Sean grew up in a humble working-class family, raised by parents Katherine and Warren Stephen. Aged 12, he and his parents moved to Ohio; he later attended Padua Franciscan High School and Barbizon Modeling and Acting School.

Making the most of his youth and attractive looks, Sean competed in the International Model and Talent Association in 1999, which helped open the doors for his acting career.

Notable Roles

2001 was the year Sean debuted in film and TV, playing Fernando Castillo in “Twisted” and Darren in four episodes of the anthology series “Undressed”. Most of his TV appearances until the mid-2000s were guest-starring roles in a number of sitcoms and drama series such as “One Tree Hill” and “Smallville”; although his luck appeared to change when he was cast as the leading man in “Life as We Know It” and “Reunion”, both series were canceled before the end of their first season, due to low ratings.

Since then, Sean’s TV career has consisted of TV movies – “The Joneses Unplugged” and “An Uncommon Grace” are just two examples – and the odd appearance in “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural”. From 2013 to 2015, he played Gabriel Holbrook in the mystery teen drama series “Pretty Little Liars”; Gabriel was hired to investigate the murders that had been taking place in Rosewood, as well as Alison DiLaurentis’ alleged kidnapping. However, he was suspended after kissing Alison and manipulating her polygraph test, proving himself to be an unreliable addition to the investigation team.

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In February 2014, it was reported that Sean had landed one of the lead roles in the “Supernatural” spin-off “Supernatural: Bloodlines”. However, the pilot wasn’t picked up as a series for the 2014-15 season. Sean’s latest TV role was playing Todd in the 2019 TV movie “Psycho Nanny”, alternatively entitled “Munchausen by Internet”.

As for his movie career, he had minor roles in “Pearl Harbor” and “The Brotherhood II” before his breakout performance in “Sleepover”, which garnered him a Young Actors Award nomination.  Although the teen comedy film was lambasted by critics upon release, and broke even at the box office, it eventually gained an unlikely cult following in the 2010s and 2020s. The ensemble cast included Brie Larson, Alexa Vega, Sara Paxto, and other young talents who would later make it big in Hollywood; Sean’s character, Steve Phillips, was described as the high-school hottie that most of the girls had a crush on.

Following a brief hiatus, Sean worked on three films back-to-back in 2007: “Forever Strong”, “Brooklyn to Manhattan” and “Never Back Down” – starring role in the latter saw him play a problematic teenager named Jake Tyler who had trouble fitting in at his new high school. Throughout the movie, Sean had numerous fight scenes which involved undergoing three months of rigorous MMA training, much like his character. Despite being laden with clichés and emphasizing negative aspects of youth culture, the film performed well at the box office.

In 2008, Sean produced and starred in the short film “Manifest Destiny”. He briefly returned to his modelling roots in 2010, appearing on the cover of the January/February issue of “Men’s Health” magazine, which became the highest-selling issue in 2010.

Sean Faris as the hero Kyo Kusanagi!a 4/5 (after considering his performance in Never Back Down)

Posted by The King of Fighters on Thursday, January 15, 2009

In the same year, he had a starring role as Kyo Kusanagi in “The King of Fighters”, a science fiction martial arts film based on the videogame of the same name. While preparing for the role, Sean studied basic karate and spent a month learning how to use a katana. Similarly, he did parkour training and practiced basic stunts for his role in “Freerunner”, a 2011 action film which premiered at the Oldenburg Film Festival, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray months later; he was also the executive producer, then a year later, he starred in, executive produced and directed the short “The Truth in Being Right”, proving himself to be just as talented behind the camera as in front of one.

Unfortunately for the actor, almost all his projects in the last decade have been commercial and critical flops. His last movie role was in the 2020 direct-to-video film “Algorithm: Bliss”, and since then, Sean has yet to announce new projects in the works.

Personal Life

In September 2017, news outlets began reporting that the “Sleepover” star had married his long-time girlfriend Cherie Jimenez during a surprise ceremony at Burning Man Festival. Although the annual art and music celebration, which takes place in the scorching hot Black Rock Desert, seems an unlikely place to exchange vows, Sean and Cherie clearly couldn’t be happier with their decision, and remain together to this day.

The actor often posts sweet snaps of his wife and their son on his Instagram profile; in May 2023, he praised Cherie for her mothering skills, writing: “I am so grateful to be on this journey with you mi amor! I love you to the moon and back.”

As recently as July 2023, the “Pretty Little Liars” alum shared the heartbreaking news of the death of his 21-year-old cousin, Zack Faris, in a car accident on his way to work, leaving behind a three-month old son named Wesley Maverick and his grieving wife Isabell. Described as an “honest, kindhearted, supportive, and loving father”, Zack’s death was mourned not only by the Faris family but by dozens of friends and colleagues.

To support Isabell and Wesley, Sean set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover Zack’s funeral costs and other expenses, and with a $30,000 goal, had already raised $25,000 in just over ten days.

Sean and his family currently reside in Lufkin, Texas. The actor has a net worth estimated at over  $1 million, thanks to his acting and directing projects over more than two decades.

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