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Abbie Cornish in "Seven Psycopaths"
Abbie Cornish

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While it seems Abbie Cornish suddenly appeared on the scene in 2008 as the catalyst for the marital split between Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon, she had actually been around since the late 1990s as a teenage actress in Australia. But in Hollywood, when it rains it pours and Abbie Cornish will face a major challenge as her fame spreads: can Abbie the actress outshine Abbie the paparazzi favorite? She was born in New South Wales, Australia in 1982 and by her teenage years had both a rebellious streak and a growing interest in acting – and the two would later mesh in both her film roles and personal life.

She landed an agent by 15, moved away from the family home on her own at 16 following her parent’s split, and at 17 won the Young Actor’s Award from the Australian Film Institute on the Aussie TV series “Wildside.” The AFI accolade opened new doors for the precocious Abbie, such as a role in “The Monkey’s Mask” starring Marton Csokas (Celeborn from “Lord of the Rings”), the drama “One Perfect Day” in 2004, and then “Somersault” that same year in which Abbie had the lead (and won the Australian Film Institute award for Best Leading Actress). The exposure opened bigger doors and larger canvases for Abbie, who seemed destined for a career outside Australia, as if Hollywood was just waiting for her arrival.

2006 saw Abbie team with Heath Ledger in the drug film “Candy” and “A Good Year,” the Ridley Scott romance that grossed fewer than $8 million at the U.S. box office. Abbie’s soft features were among the highlights in Cate Blanchett’s reprisal of Queen Elizabeth in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” and finally, Abbie came to America boasting a Texas accent in “Stop-Loss.” But the boost to fame was due more to the clandestine romance between Abbie and co-star Ryan Philippe, who had been husband to rising Hollywood princess Reese Witherspoon since 1999. Whether Abbie earns recognition for her genuine acting talents in the Hollywood establishment remains to be seen. She probably will, but then another challenge awaits: Can Abbie Cornish be as good in America as she was in Australia?

Check out our interview with Abbie Cornish in connection with her role as Lindy, Bradley Cooper's girlfriend in "Limitless."

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Abbie on the Web

Abbie’s ultimate web resource.

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Great photos from Abbie.

Abbie on the Screen

Before her entrance into American film, some Australian cinema highlights Abbie participated in include “The Monkey’s Mask,” “One Perfect Day,” “Somersault,” and “Everything Goes.” Her move to Hollywood resulted in films like “Candy,” “A Good Year,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” and “Stop-Loss.” More recently, Abbie appeared in such movies as "Limitless," "Sucker Punch" and "Seven Psychopaths."

Abbie Says

On immersion:
“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 and the only other thing I get it from is music.”

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