Niall Matter is a Canadian-American actor known for portraying Trent Hamilton in Global’s teen drama series ‘The Best Years’, Zane Donovan in the Syfy science fiction comedy-drama series ‘Eureka,’ Evan Cross in Space’s science fiction drama series ‘Primeval: New World’, and Nick Miller in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries telefilm series. He has also garnered fame for his performance in films like ‘Watchmen’ and ‘Ally Was Screaming’. An Alberta native, Matter was raised in his family’s dairy farm. While he was first exposed to acting when he was in school, he initially followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to become an oil rigger. After working on the oil rigs in northern Alberta for eight years, he had a serious accident and subsequently quit the job to become an actor. His first screen appearance came in 2007 in the pilot episode of ‘The Best Years’. He made his big screen debut in 2009 in ‘Watchmen’. For his performance in the season-one episode ‘Truth’ of ‘Primeval: New World’, Matter won the 2013 Constellation Award for Best Male Performance in a Sci-Fi TV Episode. He also received a Leo Award for the 2018 telefilm ‘Frozen in Love’.
Childhood & Early Life
Niall Matter was born on October 20, 1980, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in a family that can trace back its ancestry to Ireland and Russia. He and his brother Trevor were raised at their parents’ dairy farms.
At the age of 13, he was advised by a school teacher to join drama classes. He did so and won the Best Actor prize at a provincial drama championship in 1999.
A third-generation oil rigger, he spent eight years as an oil rigger in northern Alberta, where he worked alongside his grandfather and brother. While he was working as an oil rigger, he simultaneously enrolled at Vancouver Film School to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor.
When he was 25 years old, he had a serious accident in which he almost lost his right leg. After spending six months in recovery, he went back to work only to witness a man lose both his legs in another accident. He decided he had had enough and immediately quit.
He subsequently came back to Vancouver and worked as a bartender before being cast in the Syfy telefilm ‘Loch Ness Terror’ (ultimately released in 2008) as the bait shop owner Josh Riley. This was his first job as an actor.
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Niall Matter had his screen debut in ‘The Best Years’, portraying Trent Hamilton, the protagonist of season one (2007). Between 2007 and 2008, he appeared in two episodes of season four of Syfy’s ‘Stargate Atlantis’ as a USAF soldier Lt. Kemp.
Matter found solid footing in the industry after portraying Zane Donovan in ‘Eureka’ for four seasons (2007-12). He played the recurring characters Rick Paxton in The CW’s short-lived drama series ‘Melrose Place’ (2009-10) and Greg in the fourth season of another The CW series, ‘90210’.
Between 2012 and 2013, he played the main lead, millionaire inventor Evan Cross, in Space’s ‘Primeval: New World’, which was a spin-off of the ITV series ‘Primeval’. Besides winning a Constellation Award for the role, he was also nominated for a Leo Award. However, the show garnered poor ratings throughout its original run and was cancelled after one season.
In March 2014, it was reported that he had joined the cast of the TNT-commissioned pilot of Marcia Clark’s ‘Guilt by Association’, which TNT ultimately passed up. That year, he portrayed the recurring character Tag Cummins in the third season of CBC Television’s drama series ‘Arctic Air’.
In season two (2015) of Global’s medical drama series ‘Remedy’, he was cast as the ER-resident Dr. Peter Cutler.
Matter starred opposite Rachael Leigh Cook in the 2018 Hallmark Channel telefilm ‘Frozen in Love’, a project that bagged him the 2019 Leo Award for Best Lead Performance Male Television Movie.
Since 2018, he has been portraying psychology professor Nick Miller in the telefilm series ‘Aurora Teagarden Mysteries.’ He has appeared in four telefilms in the series to date: ‘The Disappearing Game’, ‘A Game of Cat and Mouse’, ‘An Inheritance to Die For’, and ‘A Very Foul Play’.
Matter had his cinematic debut in Zack Snyder’s 2009 film ‘Watchmen’. His character, Byron Lewis/Mothman, one of the members of the Minute Men, also appeared in the faux documentary, ‘Under the Hood’. He received critical acclaim for portraying an abusive and estranged husband in the 2014 thriller ‘Ally Was Screaming’.
Niall Matter went to audition for Syfy’s ‘Eureka’ believing he was supposed to play a guest role. During the audition, he took certain risks, portraying the character of Zane Donovan as more flirtatious than how he was written in the script. The producers liked his version and cast him in the show. He joined ‘Eureka’ in a recurring role in the second season (2007). From season three onwards, he was part of the main cast.
Family & Personal Life
In past, Niall Matter was in a relationship with 'Graceland' star Serinda Swan. In December 2016, he married a woman named Sara in a private ceremony held in Hawaii. Their first child was born in 2016. They welcomed their second child in 2018.
Matter is an ardent fan of the NHL team Edmonton Oilers.