“I woke up this morning and I was American. It was weird. I literally get out of bed and my accent is different every day, and I feel normal. I'm not putting it on. I'm not doing anything different. It's just me.” Melissa George.
Aussie actress Melissa George, a former roller-skating national champ and Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year (1992), got her first acting role as Angel Parish (1993-1996) in the popular Australia's Seven Network's week nightly half-hour soap opera “Home and Away.” After moving to Los Angeles, the striking, seductive beauty with 5' 8" figure appeared in films like Dark City (1998), The Limey (1999), Sugar & Spice (2001), Mulholland Dr. (2001) and Derailed (2005).
Melissa got her first starring role in movie as Kathy Lutz, the wife of Ryan Reynolds’ character, in the 2005 remake of the classic horror The Amityville Horror. Recently, she played the female lead in John Stockwell's new vacation horror film, Turistas, opposite Josh Duhamel. She will also star in the upcoming films Waz, Music Within, and 30 Days of Night.
On the small screen, Melissa, who once co-starred with John Stamos on the cancelled ABC drama-comedy “Thieves” in 2001, was widely remembered as Lauren Reed (2003-2005), the new wife of Michael Vaughn (played by Michael Vartan) and the romatic rival of Sydney Bristow (played by Jennifer Garner), on ABC’s hit spy-fi series “Alias.” Next, the green-eyed blonde will star opposite Gina Gershon in the Pilot episode of NBC's new drama comedy "Lipstick Jungle."
Childhood and Family:
In Perth, Western Australia, Melissa Suzanne George was born on August 6, 1976, to parents Glenn and Pamela George. The second eldest in a family of four, Melissa has two sisters, Kate (born in 1986) and Marnie (born in 1974), and one brother, Brett (born in 1979).
From the age of 7 until she was 16, Melissa roller-skated at national and international levels. She was an Australian national champion in roller-skating and won bronze medals in the National Championships in 1989 and 1990. She also won a silver medal at the Junior World Championship in 1991. While attending Warwick Senior High School, Perth, Australia, she developed an interest in dancing and began studying jazz, tap, ballet and modern dance. But at the age of 16, Melissa, nicknamed Mel, or Gorgeous George, or Roo, dropped out of school and became a model. She was named Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year in 1992.
On June 20, 1998 in Bali, Melissa met Chilean businessman, Claudio Dabed, whom she married on September 22, 2000, also in Bali. Thus, she becomes stepmother to his daughter, Martina Dabed (born in 1995).
Home and Away
"I hardly knew anything when I first arrived. I had to learn how to act as I went along. After about a year I got a grip on what acting was all about and it started coming straight from my heart; I wasn't just saying the words any longer." Melissa George
A former roller-skating national champ, Melissa George left school at age 16 to become a model and was named Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year in 1992. The title led her to be auditioned for a role in the popular Australia's Seven Network's week nightly half-hour soap opera “Home and Away.” She played Angel Parish from 1993 to 1996 and her work was awarded two Golden Logie awards (Australia's equivalent to the Emmy) in 1994 and 1995. Meanwhile, she branched out with a sleepwear line and a lifestyle home video aimed at teens, "Mind, Body & Soul," in 1996.
After leaving the show, Melissa tried to drop her good girl image by posing nude for an Australian Playboy magazine in March of 1997. Afterward, her name was quickly recognized and more acting jobs rolled in. She was spotted as a guest in a September 1997 episode of Australia's Nine Network's series "Murder Call" and co-starred in the TV movie Fable (1997).
"Moving over here was a chance to reinvent myself." Melissa George (on moving to the United States).
The aspiring actress subsequently moved to Los Angeles for further acting career. Soon after her arrival, Melissa landed a recurring role on Fox’s short-lived drama set in 4th century Ireland, "Roar" (starring a young Heath Ledger), and co-starred in the mystery drama TV-movie Hollyweird (1998). She also scored small roles in films like Alex Proyas' sci-fi thriller Dark City (1998; starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland and Jennifer Connelly) and Steven Soderbergh's revenge neo-noir crime drama The Limey (1999), playing the doomed daughter of Terence Stamp's vigilante.
"On the set, he was really one of the crew; he wasn't pretentious like some directors. He was just totally into his work. And he allowed you to improvise a lot." Melissa George (on Steven Soderbergh).
2001 saw Melissa in the teen dark comedy Sugar & Spice (alongside Marla Sokoloff, Marley Shelton and Mena Suvari; Melissa played the curvy “A-Squad” member Cleo "the Stalker" Miller, a bank-robbing cheerleader falls for Conan O'Brien), David Lynch's critically acclaimed psychological thriller Mulholland Dr. (starring Naomi Watts) and co-starred in the disappointing teen drama New Port South. TV viewers could also catch her co-starring with John Stamos on the cancelled ABC drama-comedy “Thieves.”
The next years, Melissa worked mostly on television. She appeared in the TV movies Lost in Oz (2002) and L.A. Confidential (2003; based on the film of the same name). She also guest starred in the Original Pilot episode of the sitcom "Coupling," two episodes of NBC's huge hit sircom "Friends" and The WB's supernatural drama "Charmed," as well as an episode of USA Network's Emmy-winning dramedy starring Tony Shalhoub, "Monk."
On the third season of ABC’s hit spy-fi series “Alias,” Melissa made her debut as double agent (and the romantic rival of Jennifer Garner's Sydney Bristow) Lauren Reed (2003-2005), the new wife of Michael Vaughn (played by Michael Vartan). During that time, she was also seen in Peyton Reed's romantic comedy movie Down with Love (2003; starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor) and got her first starring role in a movie as Kathy Lutz (Ryan Reynolds co-starred as her husband George Klutz) in the 2005 remake of the classic horror based on Jay Anson's 1977 novel, The Amityville Horror. That same year, she supported Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston and Vincent Cassel in director Mikael Håfström's film adaptation of James Siegel novel, the drama/thriller Derailed, playing Owen's wife.
“I hate horror films, to be really honest. Every film I've done, like Amityville Horror -- the core of that film is a character piece. It was two people fighting for survival. It wasn't a cheap slasher film by any means. Derailed had nothing at all to do with horror. I look at the character first, and whatever is going on around that character is none of my business.” Melissa George.
Recently, in 2006, Melissa guest starred as an author who one day loses a sock that eventually leads to a greater mystery in an August episode of Australia's Nine Network's mystery drama "Two Twisted" (the sequel to “Twisted Tales”) On the big screen, she played the female lead role as Pru, a beautiful, bikini-clad Australian who speaks the native language Portuguese and becomes the unofficial leader of a group of clueless tourists from America, in John Stockwell's new vacation horror film, Turistas. The film also stars Josh Duhamel, Olivia Wilde, Beau Garrett and Desmond Askew.
Melissa is currently busy on set filming her upcoming films, Steven Sawalich's true story-based drama Music Within (starring Ron Livingston), David Slade's suspense horror thriller inspired by Steve Niles' comic, 30 Days of Night (with Josh Hartnett) and Tom Shankland's horror thriller Waz (alongside Stellan Skarsgård and Selma Blair). Being asked about Waz, Melissa explained: “Waz is going to come out around May. It's about altruism in nature and about whether you'd kill someone you love in order to survive yourself. It's a very cool film. In nature, there are some animals who will put themselves on the front line to be killed in order to save their kingdom, because they are the same gene pool. They don't care. They just want to survive. One monkey will go out in front of another and get killed in order to save 300 of them behind him. You know what I mean? Whereas, humans, we're a separate gene pool. So we are exploring the idea that if someone said to you 'I will stop doing this to you if you kill your lover'...how much pain would you take, before you kill somebody that you love? It's very awesome. It's got a genius storyline.”
On TV, she will be seen in HBO’s half-hour drama project based on an Israeli series, In Treatment, alongside Gabriel Byrne and Blair Underwood. She will also star in the Pilot episode of NBC's new drama comedy "Lipstick Jungle." In the show, based on a novel written by New York writer and socialite Candace Bushnell, Melissa will co-star opposite Gina Gershon as Nico O’Neilly, a glamorous magazine editor, a pop-culture bible for show-biz, fashion, and politics who was placed at number 8 The New York Post's list of New York's 50 Most Powerful Women.
"The great thing about film is you start and finish. It's a journey that lasts so long, TV lasts a long time." Melissa George.
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA: Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award, Alias, 2004
Logie: Most Popular Actress, "Home and Away," 1995
Logie: Most Popular New Talent, "Home and Away," 1994