Home and Away's Sharni Vinson set for Hollywood comeback

Sharni Vinson was 22 when she debuted as troubled teen Cassie Turner on Home and Away and immediately made a splash.

This wasn't the first time she'd been in the Channel Seven soap though.

Sharni had actually guest starred twice before and made such an impression that the casting director suggested they consider her for a regular role.

She originally auditioned for the role of Martha, played by Jodi Gordon, before being given the role of 16-year-old Cassie.

She quickly gained a following both on and off the screen and was nominated for 'Most Popular New Female Talent' at the 2006 Logie Awards.

'Home and Away' stars Jodi Gordon, Sharni Vinson, Isabel Lucas, Indiana Evans stand together smiling at the Logies at Crown Casino, Melbourne, 1 May 2005.
Sharni with her Home And Away co-stars Jodi Gordon, Isabel Lucas and Indiana Evans in 2005. Photo: Getty Images

However, after four years on the show, Sharni decided to try her luck in Los Angeles and she had more than just her acting talent to help her stand out from the crowd.

"I began dance at a very early age and come from three generations of musical theatre performers," she revealed to Elle magazine.

"I studied ballet for many years and then jazz, modern and hip-hop.

"I also studied acrobatics and martial arts," she added.

Her first break was thanks to her boyfriend at the time AJ Buckley, who got her an audition for a guest role on CSI:NY, the show in which he played crime lab technician Adam Ross.

Other guest roles followed in shows such as NCIS, Cold Case and My Boys.

Then in 2010, she landed her first feature film as Natalie in Step Up 3D.

 Actor Rick Malambri, actress Sharni Vinson and director Jon M. Chu stand together smiling at the premiere of Step Up 3D
Sharni with costar Rick Malambri and director Jon M. Chu at the world premiere of Step Up 3D. Photo: Getty Images

"When it comes to the Australian public, they don't know me as any other way but Cassie on Home and Away.

"Cassie wasn't a dancer, so I never utilised any of my dancing ability," she told the Sydney Morning Herald when the film was released.

"But, it was something growing up that I always did want to do eventually.

"To be able to incorporate the two now together, that's the dream," she added.

But even she was shocked that she won the role after they auditioned thousands around America.

"I was just praying that when they went to New York they weren't going to find anybody else," Sharni revealed.

"But I was thinking 'How is that even possible?

"New York is New York.

"This is where everybody comes from', but luckily I got in their minds before anyone else.

"Lucky for me."

A collage of four photos of Sharni in a bikini, with straight hair looking at the camera, smiling and posing in leather jacket and one piece
Sharni, who is now 39, shares her updates and projects on her social media. Photo: Instagram/@sharnivinson

The film was hugely successful grossing over US$159 million worldwide and leading to further movie roles for Sharni including Blue Crush 2 where she played surfer villain Tara.

Sharni then went on to play the lead female in numerous horror flicks starting with You're Next followed by Bait 3D, Patrick and House on Willow Street.

Specialising in playing the independent and confident female protagonists, Sharni says it's actually the action that drew her to the roles rather than the horror.

"It's the fact that these roles are very physical forward, I grew up that way and like I said, I get bored on set if I’m not moving," she revealed in an interview for the release of the film House on Willow Street.

"I really enjoy working with the stunt teams and challenging myself physically as well as emotionally," she added.

"I've always loved action, but I like believability so I think adding an element of heavy kind of drama is what I’m looking for, and these roles have sort of brought that each in their own way."

Sharni Vinson stands smiling hand on hip at the closing ceremony of the 4th Canneseries Festival on October 13, 2021 in Cannes, France
Despite it being over 15 years since Sharni appeared in Home And Away, the actress, pictured here in 2021 has barely changed! Photo: Getty Images

Then in 2018, Sharni landed a plum role as a judge alongside Dannii Minogue, Adam Garcia and Timomatic in the reality TV show Dance Boss where amateur dancers got the chance to win $100,000.

"Anything dance greatly appeals to me," Sharni told TV Week. "That I got to come back to Australia – and work with Dannii Minogue was a triple whammy."

By this stage, she had been living in LA for 10 years.

"It's also crazy for me, as I grew up listening to Dannii's music," she said of the fact that she was now working with her idol.

"And I saw [fellow judge] Adam Garcia in Tap Dogs and then here I am sitting next to them – it's bizarre," she added.

Now 39, Sharni is back with a bang after some time off as The Speed in the new Netflix series The Guardians of Justice.

The animated live-action show also gave Sharni her first producing credit.

"So proud to be a co-executive producer on this original @netflix series," she wrote on Instagram.

Sharni is now splitting her time between LA and Australia and even has a new man in her life.

It seems that now, more than ever, the world is Sharni's oyster.

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