“Whenever I am acting, it's everything, you know. 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.” Abbie Cornish
First gaining attention with her AFI-winning performance on the TV series “Wildside” (1999), Australian model-turn-actress Abbie Cornish was shot to international fame with her portrayal of the sexually tormented teenager in “Somersault” (2004), the only Aussie film shown at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. In addition to winning a standing ovation at Cannes, she also received awards at many festivals in her native country and around the globe. Now emerging as one of the most in-demand young actresses in Hollywood, Cornish starred with Heath Ledger in “Candy” (2006), from which she netted a FCCA Award and an AFI nomination, was cast as the long-lost American cousin of Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's “A Good Year” (2006), portrayed Queen Elizabeth's favorite lady-in-waiting in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007) and teamed up with Ryan Phillippe for “Stop-Loss” (2008). Her upcoming credits include “Bright Star” (2009) and “Last Battle Dreamer” (2009).
Meeting on the set of “Stop-Loss,” Cornish and Ryan Phillippe are currently romantically involved. Rumors circulated that the Aussie import became the cause of Phillippe's break up from his actress-wife Reese Witherspoon. Both Cornish and Phillippe strongly denied the gossip. She stated, “We were very good friends and we did spend a lot of time together, yeah. But we're friends and that's it.”
Currently, Cornish is rumored to be pregnant with Phillippe's child. In addition to her increasing waistline, her recent trip home to Australia with her actor-boyfriend has furthered stirred the rumors.
Cornish, who was named Australia's Sexiest Vegetarian in 2008, has been a vegetarian since age 13. She is also an avid animal rights supporter. Cornish is good friends with Rose Byrne and ex-“Wildside” co-star John O'Hare. Her favorite actresses are Cate Blanchett and Samantha Morton, both of whom were her costars in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.”
Childhood and Family:
“I think as a child you know when it's time for your parents to split. You realize they love each other, but they're not in love with each other. And I think as a child it's much better for your parents to split than for them to stay and have dysfunction within the family.” Abbie Cornish
Abbie Cornish was born on August 7, 1982, in Lochinvar, New South Wales, Australia, to a businessman father, who owns a paper recycling enterprise, and an amateur photographer mother. Her parents divorced when she was 16 years old. She is the second of five children with three brothers and one younger sister.
Raised on her parents' large farm in the Hunter Valley town of Lochinvar, teen Abbie tried her hand at modeling to avoid boredom. She soon added acting to her endeavors.
In addition to acting and modeling, Abbie plays the piano and guitar. She also enjoys traveling.
13-year-old Abbie Cornish started taking jobs as a model after becoming a finalist at a modeling competition held by the Australian teen magazine Dolly. By age 16, she had made her acting debut on the television series “Children’s Hospital” (1997), playing a quadriplegic. It was not until she joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) drama series “Wildside” that Cornish received her early break. Cast as Simone Summers, she won a 1999 Young Actor's Award from the Australian Film Institute (AFI). Also in 1999, she made her TV movie debut in the thriller “Close Contact,” which starred Grant Bowler, Kimberley Davies and Amanda Douge. Abbie portrayed the supporting role of Sara Boyack.
Cornish moved on to the big screen in 2000 when she landed the supporting role of Mickey Norris on the mystery “The Monkey’s Mask,” starring Kelly McGillis and the award-winning actress Susie Porter. The movie was directed by Samantha Lang. The same year, she also appeared in an episode of the impressive crime series “Water Rats,” as Marie Marchand.
2001 saw Cornish return to series TV as a regular on the Aussie family show “Outriders.” The year also found Cornish portraying Penne in the Australian comedy series “Life Support,” where she became the first actress to play the role. She went on to play Tracey in the acclaimed TV movie “Marking Time” (2003), from which she was handed an
AFI nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting or Guest Role in a Television Drama or Comedy, and landed a guest spot on the short-lived police drama “White Collar Blue” (also 2003). She next appeared as a schoolgirl named Becky Wodinski in the black comedy “Horseplay.” The film reunited Cornish with ex-“Close Contact” star Amanda Douge.
After playing Emma Matisse, a young drug victim, in “One Perfect Day” (2004), Paul Currie's feature directorial debut, Cornish became an international star thanks to her role of Heidi, a sexually-charged teenager, in “Somersault” (2004), a coming-of-age drama written and directed by Cate Shortland. Her acting won extensive praise and she was handed such awards as an AFI for Best Actress in a Leading Role, an IF for Best Actress, a Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) for Best Actor - Female and a Miami Film Festival for Special Mention - Best Dramatic Feature - World Cinema Competition.
Cornish followed the much-talked about performance with an important part opposite Hugo Weaving in the Award-winning short drama “Everything Goes” (2004), directed by Andrew Kotatko, and another heralded performance in the Australian romance “Candy” (2006), adapted from a novel by Luke Davies titled “Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction.” Playing the titular role of an art student who becomes the object of affection of a heroin-addicted poet (played by Heath Ledger), she took home a Film Critics Circle of Australia for Best Actress in a Lead Role and was nominated for an AFI for Best Lead Actress and an IF for Best Actress. Oscar-winning Aussie actor Geoffrey Rush also starred in the film as Casper.
Cornish made her Hollywood debut in “A Good Year” (2006), which was directed by Ridley Scott. In the movie, she portrayed Christie Roberts, a California teenager looking for her father. The next year, Cornish was seen acting with Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Jordi Mollà, Samantha Morton and (again) Geoffrey Rush in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” an installment to the Oscar-winning “Elizabeth” (1998). Director Shekhar Kapur cast her as Bess Throckmorton, the secret wife of Sir Walter Raleigh (played by Owen) and lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I (played by Blanchett). About Cate Blanchett, Abbie stated, “Well Cate’s an incredible woman and an incredible actress, first of all. She’s very focused in what she does. I felt in working with her that she had this tremendous amount of work to do, in relation to her own character and her own performance. She was always aware of everyone else around her and particularly for me, I felt there was a watchful eye over my character, over scenes and the dialogue. And it was nice to have that there. There was a very comfortable feeling from me towards Cate, both professionally and personally.
Recently, in 2008, Cornish joined Ryan Phillippe to star in the war drama “Stop-Loss,” helmed by “Boys Don’t Cry” director Kimberly Peirce.
The 26-year-old actress will star opposite Ben Whishaw, Thomas Sangster and Paul Schneider in the Jane Campion-directed/written “Bright Star” (2009), a drama based on the three-year-romance between 19th century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by the eventual death of Keats at age 25. Cornish is set to rejoin Ryan Phillippe in the upcoming drama “Last Battle Dreamer” (2009), directed and written by Menno Meyjes. Also starring in the movie is Sean Bean.
“I don't think stardom is for me. I don't see myself that way.” Abbie Cornish
Australians in Film Awards (Los Angeles): Breakthrough Award, 2008
Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA): Best Actress in a Lead Role, “Candy,” 2006
Miami Film Festival: Special Mention - Best Dramatic Feature - World Cinema Competition, “Somersault,” 2005
Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA): Best Actor - Female, “Somersault,” 2004
Australian Film Institute (AFI): Best Actress in a Leading Role, “Somersault,” 2004
IF Award: Best Actress, “Somersault,” 2004
Australian Film Institute(AFI): Young Actor's Award, “Wildside,” 1999