First published on 14 Apr 2011. Updated on 19 Aug 2011.
Abbie Cornish has proven her star quality in dramatic roles including troubled teen Heidi in Somersault, drug-addicted Candy in Candy, and tragic Fanny Brawne in Bright Star. But in Sucker Punch, directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen), the Hunter Valley native (who lately joined Bradley Cooper in Limitless) gets to swing a sword, shoot a semi-automatic and basically kick ass - and we can't wait to see it. Cornish, Ryan Kwanten, Mia Wasikowska, Rose Byrne and (hooray!) Jacki Weaver are part of the latest crop of Sydneysiders to make it big internationally. Even for Aussies who weren't born here, Sydney is the conduit through which the likes of Sam Worthington, Heath Ledger and Thor star Chris Hemsworth have passed into the wider world of movie greatness. And it's no mystery why: a large part of the nation's screen industry is based here along with a convenient star factory in the form of NIDA, which has been spotting and training acting greats since Mel Gibson and Geoffrey Rush were young and green. The list is formidable, stretching from Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts to Hugh Jackman and Toni Collette; from Hugo Weaving and Joel Edgerton to Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Breeding and nurturing international movie stars is one thing at which Sydney excels - and something we never get tired of bragging about.