Strait, was born and raised in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, the son of Jean (née Viscione) and Richard Dyer Strait.His ancestry is half English and half Italian. He attended Village Community School, Xavier High School and took classes at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Strait was married to actress Lynn Collins from December 23, 2007 until 2013.
During his teen years, Strait modeled for several magazines, including L'uomo Vogue, Spoon magazine, Details, Surface, Hollister Co., and Pop magazine, and worked with photographers Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts, and Ellen von Unwerth. Weber featured Strait in his 2001 book, All-American: Short Stories.
Strait began taking acting lessons at the age of eleven. In the sixth grade, he began to take performing classes at the Village Community School. Although forced into it at first, he found a passion for acting after he performed live for the first time. He has worked at both the Stella Adler Acting Studio and the Black Nexxus Acting Studio in New York City.
In 2004, he moved to California to pursue a career in acting. After his first audition, he received an acting job, and in 2005, he appeared in his first film, Sky High, where he played a teenage superhero named Warren Peace. He covered The Fixx's song "One Thing Leads to Another" for the film's soundtrack.
His next film starring role was in Undiscovered, about young singers and actors in the entertainment industry who want to become stars. In 2006, he starred as Caleb Danvers in the supernatural thriller film The Covenant, which opened on September 8. Strait appeared opposite Camilla Belle in 10,000 BC, a film about prehistoric Earth, released in March 2008. He played a young mammoth hunter, D'Leh, as he travels through unknown lands on a quest to rescue his people from slavery.
In November 2010, he guest starred on the NBC series Chase as Jackson Cooper, a fugitive with a dark past who manipulates his teenage girlfriend with promises of freedom from her father and a life filled with romance and adventure.
From 2012 to 2013, Strait co-starred on the Starz series Magic City, which centered on Miami mobsters and other characters from Miami Beach in the late 1950s. Strait played the son of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character, Ike Evans.
In 2014, Strait was cast in the lead role of James "Jim" Holden in the Syfy science fiction series The Expanse, which began airing in December 2015. After two successful seasons, The Expanse began filming the third season on July 12, 2017.