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Heralded as the next major acting talent to emerge from Australia, ABBIE CORNISH (Michele) garnered critical acclaim and won the Australian Film Institute Award as Best Actress for her star turn as a sexually-charged teenager in Cate Shortland’s 2004 coming-of-age drama “Somersault.” For her breakthrough role as Heidi, the sexually tortured teen, Cornish also won the Inside Film (IF) Award as Best Actress, the Australian Film Critics Circle prize and a Special Jury Breakthrough Award at the 2004 Miami International Film Festival. “Somersault,” the only Australian film screened at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival (where Cornish won a standing ovation) elicited raves from New York Times film critic A.O. Scott, who called her “an actress whose delicate and ferocious performance combines classic movie star loveliness with serious dramatic ability.”  

Cornish next received kudos for her work in “Candy,” a searing drama about love and heroin, in which she starred opposite Heath Ledger and Oscar® winner Geoffrey Rush.

Cornish hails from Australia’s Hunter Valley, born in Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1982. Growing up on her family’s farm, she began acting at 15 after a tryout at a modeling audition led to her professional debut on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s series “Children’s Hospital.” Soon thereafter, she landed a co-starring role on the ABC series “Wildside,” for which she won her first AFI honor in 1999.

She earned a second AFI nomination in 2003 for her guest-starring role on the ABC miniseries “Marking Time.” Other roles include “The Monkey’s Mask,” “Everything Goes,” “Horseplay” and “One Perfect Day.” She most recently costarred in Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year.” Currently, Cornish is in London filming Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a story about the poet John Keats and his love affair with a young woman named Fanny Brawne (Cornish).

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