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ABBIE CORNISH: Who's That Girl?
by Nancy Simon

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Abbie Cronish: Profile of an Aspiring Actress

Abbie Cronish: Profile of an Aspiring Actress
Despite presently being most well-known for allegedly engaging in illicit relations with Ryan Phillippe, on the big screen, the 24-year-old Australian Abbie Cornish is making a name for herself in her own right.

Playing a small role in Ridley Scott's A GOOD YEAR starring Russell Crowe, the free-spirited Abbie Cornish may come off to American film audiences as a fresh face. Yet, in Australia, since the dawning of the new millennium, Cornish has been repeatedly praised for her acting in both feature films and television shows.

And soon Cornish, who plays the title role in the critically heralded CANDY opposite fellow Aussies Heath Ledger and Geoffrey Rush, will be able to showcase her acting prowess for American movie-goers.

Based on the novel by Luke Davies, CANDY tells the story of a young couple's struggle with drug addiction. In a nutshell, a poet, played by Ledger, falls in love with an art student, played by Cornish.

Attracted to both his bohemian lifestyle and his relationship with heroin, Candy finds herself drawn into his roller coaster life. When both become equally hooked on each other and the drug, their relationship teeters on the verge of ecstasy and self-destruction.

Down under, Cornish already won the best actress award from the Film Critics Circle of Australia society for her spellbinding portrayal in CANDY. Note: From the same organization and for the same film, Geoffrey Rush took home the best supporting actor award.
Abbie's Telling Role in SOMERSAULT

Abbie's Telling Role in SOMERSAULT

In addition to Crowe, Ledger, and Rush, Cornish continues to work with actors (and actresses) emanating from her homeland. In the forthcoming THE GOLDEN AGE (2007), Cornish appears as Elizabeth Throckmorton along side another Aussie Cate Blanchett who reprises her Academy Award winning role of Queen Elizabeth I.

Hailed as Australia's next big film hope (coming on the heels of Kidman, Watts and the aforementioned Blanchett), Cornish's first acting job came at the age of 15 in the form of a quadriplegic character on the Australian Broadcasting Commission series "Children's Hospital". Seven-years later, her break-through performance came in the Australian film SOMERSAULT (2004), playing the title role of Heidi, a troubled 16-year-old caught in between a period of innocence and awakening sexuality.

Much of Cornish's acclaim has come from her ability to be so vulnerable and gritty on–screen while maintaining an air of rare beauty and worldly sophistication.

And the impending film which either goes by the title AN UNTITLED KIMBERLY PEIRCE PROJECT (BOYS DON'T CRY) or STOP LOSS pairs Cornish with the man in the headlines Ryan Phillippe. A military film, Phillippe plays a soldier who on hiatus comes home to Texas and refuses to return back to battle in Iraq until the government steps in and mandates otherwise. Cornish plays the character of Christie

Whether it be the subject of her future film career or the break-up of Phillippe and Reese's
CANDY's Cronish and Ledger

CANDY's Cronish and Ledger
marriage, with so many lenses focused on Cornish it is surprising that when she was asked of the status of her career, she recently stated, "You know, it doesn't feel like things are happening super fast," she says. "There's a bit of a spotlight, obviously. There are more scripts to read, more interviews and photographs. But I just live my own life."

And living her own life is something Cornish has apparently tried hard to do. Voraciously traveling around the globe for the past six years to such locales as: Morocco, Brazil, Italy, America and obviously Australia, where surprisingly Cornish does not have a permanent home base.

Yet, in contrast with her nomad existence, when working on a film she is completely grounded and focused. According to Cornish's acting process, "Whenever I am acting, it's everything. If I'm researching a role, I'm completely consumed in that and, between action and cut, I live in this suspended time. It's a really amazing experience."

Perhaps, it is all of these elements of her lifestyle: bohemian-esque quality, low-key star stature, energized interest in taking on diverse roles that expand her body of work, and fierce determination, that lead her to state, "I don't think stardom is for me.. I don't see myself that way."

Either fortunately or unfortunately Hollywood, a force unto its own, may see things a bit differently for Ms. Cornish.

Abbie Cornish on MatchFlick

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A capsulized profile on an emerging talent, i.e., actor/director in the film world and a snippet as to why he or she is destined to soon become a household name.

Other Columns
Other columns by Nancy Simon:

EMILE HIRSCH: Young Upstart

SIENNA MILLER:B-day Girl\ Factory Girl

DJIMON HOUNSOU: A Diamond in the Rough

DARREN ARONOFSKY: Daring to go further

SOFIA COPPOLA: Stylish Filmmaker

All Columns

Nancy Simon
A Chicago-based freelance writer and film enthusiast, Nancy has an insatiable curiousity and knack for picking out talented, promising individuals.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Nancy Simon by clicking here.

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