Over the years Australia has produced some of the entertainment world’s biggest stars. From singers and radio personalities to presenters and movies stars, Hollywood is inundated with fine Australian talent. As Melbourne set Animal Kingdom prepares to hit our screens on February 25th, starring a host of up-and-coming stars, we take a look at some of Australia’s biggest exports.
Star of Animal Kingdom, Guy Pearce began his career playing Mike Young in Australian soap Neighbours. His two year stint on the show led to bigger and better things and after a brief spell on Home and Away, movie offers started to come his way. He has since starred in L.A Confidential, Memento and 2010’s big Academy Award winner The Hurt Locker to name a few. His brilliant performance as Leckie in Animal Kingdom has received rave reviews ahead of its February 25th release.
When Kylie Minogue burst on to our screens as Charlene Robinson in Neighbours back in 1986 no-one quite anticipated how big a star she would become. After choosing to leave the show to concentrate on a music career her debut single ‘Locomotion’ spent seven weeks as number one in the Australian chart making it the highest selling single of the decade. She has since gone on to become one of the world’s biggest pop stars achieving record sales of over 60 million. Her younger sister Dannii is also a key figure in the entertainment industry as judge alongside Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole on the X Factor.
Like many Australian film stars the late Heath Ledger began his career in television, starring in Home and Away, Sweat and Roar. His big break came in high school rom-com 10 Things I Hate about You. His performance alongside Julia Stiles made Hollywood take note and lead roles in A Knights Tale, The Patriot and Two Hands quickly followed suit. It was however, his role in the Ang Lee drama Brokeback Mountain that earned him critical acclaim with an Academy Award nomination. His tragic death from an accidental overdose in 2008 left fans devastated, it also meant that his Academy Award for his role as Joker in The Dark Knight was posthumous.
Redhead Nicole is considered one of Hollywood’s top Australian imports. Her career as an actress began in a series of small films and televisions roles back in the early 1980s. It was however, her role in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm that brought her to the attention of Hollywood producers. She has since received recognition for her performances in Moulin Rouge, Rabbit Hole and The Hours, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress as well as a BAFTA and Golden Globe.
Director and writer, Luhrmann grew up in rural Australia where he took an instant interest in cinema while helping out at his father‘s movie theatre. His extravagant and highly stylised films have made him a household name in Hollywood attracting stars like Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. His debut film Strictly Ballroom was an instant success leading to his other work which includes Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge and the 2008 epic Australia.
Damages star Rose Byrne was born in Sydney. Her career began playing Belinda O’Connor in the Australian soap Echo Point. She has since starred in numerous Hollywood films including Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, 28 Weeks Later and Get Him to the Greek. It is, however her role as Ellen Parsons, alongside Glen Close in crime drama Damages that she is most recognised for.
John Barry Humphries
Comedian John Barry Humphries was born and raised in Camberwell, Victoria. He is most famous for his fictional characters Melbourne housewife Dame Edna Everage and foul mouthed civil servant Sir Les Patterson. Over the years Dame Edna has become a household name appearing in films and television shows alike. Humphries has also acted in films including Finding Nemo and Immortal Beloved and in shows on London’s West End.
Animal Kingdom is released 25 Feb.