On track for stardom … Isabelle Cornish. Photo: Jim Lee
Actor Isabelle Cornish, younger sister of Australian acting star Abbie Cornish, has carved a career in her own right. Isabelle, who got her first big break on Home and Away, has a major role in Ten's Puberty Blues, which has just signed for a second series. The actor has also signed with US talent powerhouse UTA (United Talent Agency). Kate Waterhouse catches up with the 18-year-old at the races to chat about her career, her love life and sibling rivalry.
Did you always want to be an actor?
Yes, ever since I was younger. As a young child, mum put me into modelling and then I did TV commercials, but when I was five mum took me out of it and made me wait until I was 15 to start auditioning because I had to travel from Newcastle by myself to go to auditions.
Did you and your sister grow up in a theatrical household?
No, we grew up on a farm in the Hunter Valley. My dad just had a normal job, sealing pavements. My mum is an artist but she only discovered [her artistic talent] five years ago, so we never really had an arty family growing up.
Your parents must be blown away that both their daughters found such success?
I don't know, we don't really talk about it. I don't think dad really knows half the things [we do]. I tell him about it but he doesn't really understand it all because he lives on a farm. But mum is really excited and she likes to come along for the ride.
Was there ever rivalry between you and your sister trying to make it in the same industry?
No, we are so close and there is a 12-year age gap between us, so everything she is doing, I'm doing in a different way, at a different time.
Has she given you career advice over the years?
Yes. If I ever need to call her, I just call her up and when I'm in America she reads the other lines from scripts and we tape auditions together. When I was younger I would play the other person and read all the parts when practising for her auditions.
How did you get cast in Puberty Blues?
I knew that they were casting it and originally I was too old to go for the role because I think they were going to make the cast younger, but then they saw some of my tapes and they really liked me and offered me the role for the series.
What is the most awkward scene you had to play?
There were two scenes that were not my favourite: the party scene where I break up with my boyfriend because I get with another guy and then there was a scene at the beach where I had to eat a meat pie but I'm vegan, so they had to make me a vegan meat pie but it looked like a meat pie and I had to eat it like 25 times and I was sick for hours after..
Were there offscreen romances with any cast mates?
No, we were all just such good friends, like brothers and sisters.
Do you have a boyfriend?
No, I've been single for the whole year.
Are you looking for a boyfriend at the races?
What do you look for in a boy?
Someone who is really down-to-earth, nice and funny. I like people that are creative and enjoy music and art.
What do you do for fun?
I love art, so I like to do a lot of drawing, making jewellery and I do a lot of scrapbooking.
What is next for you?
I just got back from America, where I signed with UTA and went around meeting casting agents and directors and getting to know how it all works. I have series two of Puberty Blues next year and after that, I think I'll move overseas. I've also signed with Chic Model Management because I'm also doing a bit of modelling.
Will you and your sister ever work on the same production?
Yes, I think so. I want to travel and make a documentary, and she is going to do that with me. She is thinking of writing a movie so I think in the future we will create something together.
WE WENT TO The Lexus Design Pavilion marquee, Flemington Racecourse.
WE ATE Menu by Neil Perry, including: Green leaf salad with pine nut dressing; Broccolini, red capsicum and sweetcorn shira-ae; and Special daikon salad with bonito flakes.
WE DRANK Den sake mojito, by Izakaya Den.
ISABELLE WORE an Ellery dress.