Abbie Cornish Biography: In Her Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Abbie Cornish is an Australian actress and rapper, who goes by the stage name Dusk, best known for her roles as Sweet Pea in Sucker Punch, poet John Keats’ lover Fanny Brawne in Brightstar, and as Heidi in Somersault, for which she won an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a leading role. Her career spans both television and film, mostly in dramatic roles. While a relative newcomer, she has since accumulated 25 acting credits.
ABBIE CORNISH BIO: AGE, EARLY LIFE IN AUSTRALIA, HER TV DEBUT
Cornish (born Abbigail Cornish on August 7, 1982 – now age 34) was born in the rural town of Lochinvar, New South Wales, Australia, in1982, to Shelley and Barry Cornish. Raised with three brothers and a younger sister, actress Isabelle Cornish, on her parents’ 170-acre farm, her exposure to the world of acting was limited to the films she saw on screen. “I grew up, you know, with dams, and horses, and motorbikes, and cars,” she told uInterview exclusively. This changed when she entered and won a modeling competition for Dolly, an Australian teen magazine, at the age of thirteen, opening the door for acting gigs. “Entering the modeling competition was kind of my coming of age. I was signed with an acting and modeling agent from that competition; the first thing I was sent to was an acting audition.” That first audition was for a role on the Australian Broadcast Company’s television series Children’s Hospital. Centered around the lives of child patients and hospital staff at an inner-city hospital, Cornish won the part of a young quadriplegic.
Impressed with her performance, producers from the show booked Cornish for another series, Wildside, where she played Simone Summers, the daughter of community crisis center doctor Maxine Summers. She played Summers on nine episodes from 1997 to 1999, and her performance earned her the Young Actor’s Award from the Australian Film Institute in 1999.
Of her lucky break into the world of Australian television, Cornish confessed that “It kind of felt like a door opened and it was a really beautiful place [and] I didn’t really know it had existed… I wasn’t shooting for the stars, you know, I was just looking at them.”
ABBIE CORNISH BIO: FORAY INTO FILM (2000-2010)
Following the success of Wildside, Cornish was cast in her first feature film role as missing university student Mickey Norris in The Monkey’s Mask (2000). Following up her film work with a brief return to television series, playing Reggie McDowell on Outriders and Penne on Life Support, Cornish had a breakout lead performance as Brianie in the short film Everything Goes in 2004. Based on a Raymond Carver short story, Cornish plays half of a young couple who befriend a lonely, recently divorced middle-aged man.
That same year, her next leading role as Heidi, a sexually promiscuous and troubled teenager in the film Somersault (2004), garnered Cornish another Australian Film Institute Award, this time for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She also won an IF Award for Best Actress, Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actress, and The Miami Film Festival Award for Breakthrough Actor for that role.
Cornish would next go on to star opposite Health Ledger in the film Candy, playing his romantic lead as the couple spirals down a hole of complicated love, self-destruction, and heroin addiction. Cinemablend praised her performance. “Abbie Cornish proves not only that she looks good in the nude, but that she can act too. Her subtle portrayal of Candy manages to evoke what little sympathy an audience can have for a drug-addicted young woman,” the film review website wrote.
In 2007, moving away from smaller independent features, Cornish took on the role of Bess Throckmorton, the lady-in-waiting who began a secret love affair with Sir Walter Raleigh behind Queen Elizabeth I’s back, in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Ruthe Stein of SF Gate praised Cornish for, “Combining innocence with passionate energy.”
Continuing with biopics, Cornish appeared in her most nominated role yet, as Fanny Brawne, the poet John Keats’ lover in Bright Star. She received 16 nominations and five awards for her work.
ABBIE CORNISH BIO: RECENT FILM WORK (2010-PRESENT)
With her star power rising, Cornish looked more towards studio features, appearing alongside Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in the 2011 thriller Limitless. Cornish also had a role in Zack Snyder‘s Sucker Punch that same year, playing Sweet Pea, and co-starred with Joel Kinnaman in the 2014 RoboCop reboot.
Returning to the independent film scene, she starred in the Madonna-directed feature W.E., another biopic based on the romance between British king, Edward VIII and American socialite, Wallis Simpson. Despite a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Cornish received praise. Calling her performance “restrained” and “internalized,” Rodrigo Perez of Indiewire argued that “It’s her meatiest role since the deeply underrated “Bright Star” and lesser-seen, but no less valuable indies like “Somersault” and “Candy.”
Cornish most recently stepped out at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival to promote her new horror film, Lavender. In the psychological thriller, she plays Jane, a photographer suffering from memory loss after a traumatic accident, after which her photos help her realize she may be responsible for the deaths of several of her family members. In preparation for the role, Cornish said director Ed Gass-Donnelly referenced the Nicole Kidman horror film The Others. “I think that’s a really great reference because she is dealing with not only her life and her past, but something that is beyond her comprehension, but is also so visceral and real,” she told uInterview.
In advance of the film’s release, Variety critic Nick Shager called Cornish’s performance “commanding,” and said that she “projects a measure of confidence and intelligence that’s a welcome reprieve from the usual bewildered-panicky heroine behavior found in so many like-minded supernatural sagas.”
ABBIE CORNISH BIO: MUSIC & RAP CAREER
Concurrently with her acting career, Cornish has been rapping since 2000, under the stage name ‘Dusk.’ In 2014, she announced an Australian tour with rapper Nas and released two free SoundCloud tracks in 2015.
Cornish actually began her performing career in music, she told uInterview, as a musician in an underground Australian hip hop band, Blades of Hades. At the time, she confessed, it was not a popular music genre. “It’s a scene that’s really evolved and changed a lot,” she said. The actress also plays both piano and guitar.
Cornish told uInterview that she would love to collaborate with Eminem, Jay-Z, and André 3000 on future music projects.
ABBIE CORNISH BIO: PERSONAL LIFE & DATING HISTORY
Cornish has been vegetarian since the age of 13 and has since become an ambassador for Australian animal rights group Voiceless, The Animal Protection Institute, appearing in their commercials and attending various events.
She consistently appears on “Sexiest” lists, ranking at #80 in Maxim’s Hot 100 Women list in 2007, “Australia’s Sexiest Vegetarian” in 2008, #89 in the 2011 FHM (Australia) list of “100 Sexiest Women in the World,” and #33 on Ask Men’s top 99 “most desirable women” of 2011.
Cornish dated actor Ryan Philippe until 2010. The couple met while filming Stop-Loss in 2006. She is currently single.
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