A relatively unknown Australian actress has been cast in the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 films.
Canberra-born Stef Dawson will star as Annie Cresta, a victor from District 4 and the love interest of Finnick, played by British actor Sam Claflin.
The former Canberra Girls Grammar School student is following in the footsteps of many of her creative countrymen who are bypassing local fame to focus on landing plum roles in the US.
As the news broke, Ms Dawson’s childhood friends flooded her Facebook page to congratulate the girl who was “destined to be a star”.
Long-time friends, who wished to remain anonymous, told Fairfax Media, Dawson was always a “going to be a huge actress, everyone is so proud of her. She has worked so hard in LA.”
Up and coming Australians are becoming increasingly popular amongst Hollywood heavyweights and TV and film executives, including Dawson’s The Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth and Orange Is The New Black break out Australian star Yael Stone.
As well as filming The Hunger Games, Dawson, who once appeared in local drama series All Saints, also has two other projects in the pipeline. A TV series titled Crash Dance and 13 Girls, a horror film due for release in December 2014.
The Mockingjay films, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, will be directed by Francis Lawrence and will see Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence reprise her role as heroine Katniss Everdeen.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 will be the third and fourth instalments of the series in which Katniss leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol.
“As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done with everything she cares for in the balance,” a statement from the film’s production company Lionsgate stated.
Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games – the original film which grossed about $700 million at the worldwide box office – will open in Australia on November 21.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 are due for release in November 2014 and November 2015 respectively and will also feature Game Of Thrones star Natalie Cormer as the character of Cressida.