Ashleigh Cummings and Phoebe Tonkin are set to take up arms and get dirty…in the name of art.
The teenagers from exclusive private schools will learn how to ride dirt bikes and operate AK-47 automatic assault rifles as part of the rigorous physical build-up to filming an Australian movie.
The teenagers have scored major roles in the $20 million-plus film Tomorrow: When the War Began, which is based on the John Marsden novel of the same name.
Cummings, 16, who attends Wenona School in North Sydney is yet to tell her friends of her casting because of the secrecy surrounding the film. But she set some of her year 11 exams early and will miss the first part of year 12 to take part in filming the role.
“I didn’t think twice about it,” she said.
The film will makr the directorial debut for Stuart Beattie, an Australian who is already a major name in Hollywood for his scriptwriting, for inlcuding Collateral and the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
“I read the script and was really impressed by how well-written it was and how different it is to anything else in Australia at the moment,” said Tonkin, 19. “We’re going to be doing weapons training – it’s all very physical; action packed.”
Tonkin attended Queenswood School for Girls in Mosman before pursuing acting and has already gained acclaim in television as the mermaid star of H2O: Just Add Water.
In Tomorrow: When the War Began, a group of teenagers returns home from a camping trip to discover their homes have been overtaken and all other humans have been captured or killed.
Neighbours actor Caitling Stasey will star in the key role of Ellie.
Filming begins in the Hunter Valley later this month and the movie is scheduled for release late next year.
Published September 13, 2009
by Christine Sams