A Place To Call Home's Abby Earl poised for stardom
ABBY Earl has quickly found her feet in front of the camera.
The young actor, a former ballet dancer, landed her role on the hit Aussie drama A Place to Call Home straight out of acting school and is already receiving accolades.
Earl was nominated for Most Popular New Talent at The Logie Awards last month April and was identified as one of the country's "actors to watch" when she was recently named a finalist in this year's Heath Ledger Scholarship.
The award, set up following Ledger's sudden and tragic death in 2008, fosters the education and career development of young Australian actors within the United States.
She is among some talented company with Underbelly Squizzy star Jared Daperis, Serangoon Road's Maeve Dermody and Alex Williams, who has portrayed a young Julian Assange and INXS band member Kirk Pengilly, also nominated.
"It's such a prestigious award," she told The Guide.
"It's not about winning, especially when you're a finalist. It's about being a part of it all.
"I never thought I'd be a part of a 'people to watch list'. It still gives me little butterflies."
In A Place To Call Home she plays Anna Bligh, a young and impulsive member of a powerful upper-class family in the fictional hamlet of Ash Park.
The lavish period drama, set in post-Second World War Australia, is filmed on location at a grand estate near Camden on Sydney's outskirts. Earl has done her best to immerse herself in the time, and its lack of modern technology.
"I tried hard to give up my phone and all those things that distracted me," she said.
"Being on location is such a gift.
"Those paddocks go forever and when I was stressed I would just go out and hang on those fences and look at horses and try to get back into character."
Anna has challenged her family's expectations by asking to marry local farmhand Gino Poletti.
Recently on the drama, town doctor Jack Duncan (played by Craig Hall) discovered he is Anna's father.
But while Anna knows the man who lovingly raised her, George Bligh, is not her biological father, she has yet to discover Jack's true identity.
"What's really lovely is what plays between them," she said.
"Poor Jack has missed out on 20 years of her life, which is sad but they've treated it with a bit of comedy from Anna's point of view.
"It seems like Jack has a bit of a crush on Anna, so Gino gets a bit jealous."
Earl is lucky to count Marta Dusseldorp and Noni Hazlehurst among her co-stars.
"When I auditioned and they said Noni was on board I said 'lock me in'," she said.
"To work with someone with that much experience and talent, at the end of a 16-hour day that's what counts. She and Marta are exceptional mentors."
A Place to Call Home airs Sundays at 8.30pm on Channel 7.