The thoughtfully squinting eyes peering from beneath the thick brow of this Hollywood brunette have mesmerized fans, as well as directors, in a rapid succession of mainstream film appearances. They can be found on the face of handsome Matthew Davis, who made suddenly frequent film appearances in his early twenties, after laboring on-stage in New York for some time. He was born on May 8, 1978, in Salt Lake City, UT, where he grew up before venturing to New York and then to Los Angeles. His first starring role came in 2000, when he was just 22, with Colin Farrell in Tigerland. Davis portrayed a writer in the Vietnam War, thus beginning a series of appearances in war films. That same year, he played a dual role as twins in Urban Legends: Final Cut, a role that allowed Davis to explore his range in the genre of mystery/horror. In 2001, he appeared in the role of Lt. Joe Olson in the blockbuster Pearl Harbor, the dramatization of the World War II event starring Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett.
Shifting gears from his work on the battlegrounds once again, he starred opposite Reese Witherspoon as the ex-boyfriend she follows to Harvard Law in the romantic comedy Legally Blonde, also in 2001. While neither film was critically successful, both gave Davis a tremendous amount of media limelight, and big roles would continue the following year. Another World War II film, Below (2002), featured Davis as captain of a submarine, and blended the genre-boundaries of war film into more horrific and science fiction-oriented themes. Bouncing back into the romantic comedy world, he starred in the adventurous surfing film Blue Crush and then Lone Star State of Mind, the latter with Joshua Jackson and James King, both also in 2002.
While 2003 saw little of Davis save for the independent comedy drama Something Better, in 2004 the actor would star alongside Jay Mohr and Julianne Nicholson in the sexy comedy film Seeing Other People, as well as work with James Spader and Aidan Quinn in the thriller Shadow of Fear. In 2005, Davis worked with Glenn Close and James Mardsen in the drama Heights, which followed five New Yorkers charged with deciding their respective destinies before sunrise the following day, and played a rookie FBI agent in Into the Sun, an action-thriller starring Steven Seagal. Though reviews were largely negative, filmmaker Uwe Boll's adaptation of the popular video game BloodRayne featured Davis as part of a team of vampire hunters.
Davis worked in television throughout 2006 and 2007, when he starred in the role of a lawyer for ABC's drama What About Brian, and as a character in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2008. From 2009-2012, Davis had a regular role as Professor Alaric Saltzman in The Vampire Diaries, the CW's hit series adapted from author L.J. Smith's popular paranormal romance series for young adults. In 2012, The CW's Cult Davis stars as a journalist blogger investigating a series of bizarre disappearances that all appear connected to the same television show.