Underbelly: Razor star Anna McGahan is the latest Australian actor hoping to make her mark on the US, with a little help from Heath Ledger’s legacy.
The 24-year-old Queenslander is the latest recipient of the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship, which awards one talented thespian with US$10,000 cash, return flights to Los Angeles and a one-year acting course that could set them up for Hollywood success.
“I was completely shocked. I had a minor heart attack,” she told WHO from L.A., where she received the award. “I was flown over under the idea that I was on the short list, [it] was mind blowing to hear the news.”
Always a fan of Ledger, who died of an accidental overdose to prescription medication in 2008, McGahan went back through his entire catalogue of work when she heard she was short-listed for the prize. “His skill improved up until the day he died. He was so dedicated to his craft.”
While her “major passion” is writing plays, she’s excited by the prospect of sharing the screen with other L.A. based Aussie actors. “I would love to work with Abbie Cornish. I think her work is fantastic. There are so many strong Australians that have international careers like Cate Blanchett.”
The fourth recipient of the scholarship (others include Dark Shadows star Bella Heathcote and Packed to the Rafters’ Ryan Corr), she would also love to meet Hunger Games star, Jennifer Lawrence, during her State-side visit. “I’m pretty excited to meet her. That’s the incredible thing about this city, everyone is here.”
Her first time in L.A., McGahan plans to take in the sights before heading back to Melbourne where she is filming Nine’s 10-part series, House Husbands. “I’ve been such a tourist. I’d love to drive to San Francisco and take a road trip. The landscape and how America is set up is just beautiful and so different than Australia.”--With reporting by Mia McNiece