Isabel Lucas was born on January 29th 1985 in Melbourne, Australia. Her family moved around a lot as a child due to her father’s job as a commercial pilot – they moved to Switzerland for a year when Isabel was 6, then back to Melbourne briefly before spending 3 years living in Jabiru in the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia. Whilst living in that small village in the Northern Territory, Isabel attended the Kakadu National Park school, and her Aboriginal best friend taught her about “bush tucker”; Isabel described herself as a “wild bush child” at this age! “When you’re 10 years old, you’re at an impressionable age and a lot of life lessons are subconscious. Kakadu was a unique experience and I think that’s where I developed a very real connection to nature,” Isabel says about her early experiences.
The family then moved to Cairns, North Queensland, where they have lived ever since, aside from 6 months in which Isabel stayed with her aunt in Switzerland. Isabel went to St Monica’s High School in Cairns, which she attended until she completed Year 12 in 2003, and then enrolled in the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne. Her life was to change drastically in the (Australian) winter of 2002, when she was approached by talent agent Sharon Meissner whilst sitting under a mango tree at a market in Port Douglas. Meissner asked if Isabel was interested in modelling, which she wasn’t, but when the suggestion of acting came up, Isabel became interested. After taking acting lessons, Isabel landed her first audition and the subsequent TV role.
Isabel initially auditioned for the role of Kit Hunter in the Australian soap Home & Away, but while the producer didn’t think she was right for that role, a new role was written for her – that of Tasha Andrews. Isabel made her debut on the show on Australian screens in July 2003, and went on to receive great acclaim for her role, from fans and critics alike. A testament to her new popularity, she won the TV Week Logie award for Most Popular New Female Talent in 2004, for her first year on the show. Isabel admits she was not confident when she joined the show, but the experience, and the supportive cast, helped her grow – “It encouraged me to come out of my shell and trust myself and that everything was going to be OK,” she said. As with many young soap actors, Isabel quickly became a popular teen star in her home country, and was seen on the cover of many teen and TV magazines. She stayed on the show for 3 years, and her storylines included learning to speak English (her character only spoke pig latin when she arrived), a plane crash, involvement in a cult, suspected rape, pregnancy and marriage. Unlike some soap stars, Isabel was gracious when talking about her role in the show, saying that “There is a lot of pressure at the time, but it’s the best training you could ever get.”
In 2006 Isabel decided she wanted to try something new, and left Home & Away. She was now a big star in her native Australia, but craved some privacy. After she finished on Home & Away in 2006 she said that she dyed her hair “dark, dark brown and jiffied off to Europe” where she could stay under the radar. The past 4 years had been a big change for Isabel, and she wanted to reconnect with what was most important to her, and be “re-inspired”. She credits her love of travelling as due to moving about a lot with her family as a child, and says that it’s “soul food” for her, giving her the experiences she needs to develop as an actress and a person. During her time away she wanted to decide whether acting was really what she wanted to do, and she realised it was. When she returned to Australia, she filmed her very first movie, Daybreakers, a vampire thriller with Sam Neill and Ethan Hawke. She then flew to Namibia to volunteer with an agricultural charity organisation, where she “implanted irrigation for vegetable gardens in the middle of the desert.”
After moving to America in January 2008 and filming a bit-part in the TV mini-series The Pacific, Isabel was to get her big break in the States. Steven Spielberg was so impressed by her in The Pacific that he asked her to read for the role of Alice in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which he was producing. Much has been made of this casting, but Isabel has confirmed that she did in fact audition for the director, Michael Bay, after being personally asked for by Spielberg. She filmed her short part for the film in mid-2008. But living in LA meant that Isabel was now more susceptible to tabloid gossip, and when she started dating Entourage star Adrian Grenier, an increasing amount of attention was turned to her private life. She had dated her Home & Away co-star Chris Hemsworth for a few years until 2006, and dated Grenier for a few months when she moved to LA in 2008. She has also been linked to Zach Braff, Jared Leto and Joel Edgerton. Ever the keen traveller, at the end of 2008 Isabel went to India to shoot the Australian drama The Waiting City, and said that on top of the “beautiful and meaningful story”, the fact that the film was shooting in India was a big enough incentive for her.
Whilst steadily working on projects, Isabel has devoted a lot of her time to her charity work. In October 2007 Isabel and a number of other stars, including Hayden Panettiere, were involved in an anti-whaling protest in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. They paddled out on surfboards to try to protect the whales, but were intercepted by the fishing boats and had to return to land, where they quickly left the country for fear of being arrested for trespassing. There is reportedly still a warrant for her arrest in Japan, although upon attending the world premiere of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in the country in June of 2009, no action was taken. This is a cause Isabel is clearly very passionate about, and she continues to work for campaigns to protect marine life.
Isabel’s profile rocketed in 2009 due to the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Despite only having a small role in the blockbuster, Isabel grabbed the attention of wider audiences and was widely noted as a face to watch. She began appearing in more high profile American magazines, and was invited to Hollywood parties and premieres. She had obviously caught the attention of some big-name designers too, as she was took a front row seat at fashion shows for Chanel and Calvin Klein. Isabel admitted the sudden attention made her feel a bit uncomfortable, but she knows how to work the camera, and when ‘off-duty’ keeps a low-profile, spending her time hiking in the hills behind her Hollywood house.
Since leaving Home & Away Isabel has worked steadily on a number of projects in both Australia and America that have all received releases of some sorts in the following few years. She filmed the Australian romantic-comedy ensemble The Wedding Party in her home city of Melbourne in early 2009. In August 2009 she landed another big role in a Hollywood production – a part in the re-make of the 1983 film Red Dawn, in which she will play Erica, and star alongside former Home & Away co-star Chris Hemsworth. Isabel spent a few months late in 2009 shooting the movie in Michigan. “It’s been so diverse – from blockbuster to vamp-thriller to family drama-comedy. I’m lucky with the way things have unravelled,” Isabel says of her quick rise to fame. Knowing what’s most important to her, Isabel also spent time in 2009 promoting the documentary The Cove, which was about the dolphin slaughter in Taijii.
Carefully balancing her film career and charitable efforts, Isabel under-took the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2010, to help promote awareness of the need for clean drinking water in third-world countries. She said it was “the most challenging thing, physically, that I’ve done”, but was used to camping because she did it a lot when she was younger, and she was passionate about the cause. Following this, she returned to Australia to film the musical-comedy A Heartbeat Away, where she was faced with a new challenge – singing and dancing on screen! Determined to keep going between big Hollywood blockbusters and smaller independent character-driven stories, Isabel jetted to Montreal in April 2010 to film Immortals, another blockbuster with an all-star cast.
Isabel manages to do a good job keeping her private life just that – private. In 2010 she started dating Australian singer and musician Angus Stone, and the two were spotted out together, and made an appearance at the ARIA Awards together later that year. The couple clearly shared a love of nature, and Isabel even starred in two of Angus’s music videos in 2011/12. He revealed she was a big source of inspiration for his debut solo album, saying “she has really shined a light on a whole new part of me.” Reports suggested they broke up in early 2012.
Isabel seems to be enjoying all the new opportunities coming her way, and has been taking up offers to appear in advertising campaigns such as Gap and Tourism Victoria, and music videos. In fact, one such music video – ‘Made For You’ by The Gift – was rumoured to be featuring the vocal talents of Miss Lucas herself, before it was revealed to be a hoax. Isabel has said that at the moment her focus is on her acting career, but we’re sure there will be more side projects like this to come.
Musical-comedy A Heartbeat Away opened in Australia in early March 2011 to poor reviews, but more movie offers and promotional duties were to follow in 2011. In the middle of the year Isabel jetted to Europe to film a remake of the Dutch thriller The Loft with co-stars Wentworth Miller and James Marsden, and she described this experience as “really enjoyable”. She made a splash at the highly prestiguous Costume Institute Gala in New York in May, wearing a stunning coral gown by Louis Vuitton. Isabel was once again making the fashion industry sit up and take notice, while still remaining true to her unique style. She was also honoured as the ‘Female Star Of Tomorrow’ at the Young Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles in May. The latter stage of the year saw Isabel thrust back into the spotlight in Hollywood, with the promotion and release of Immortals. Isabel landed magazine spread after magazine spread around the globe, and capped the promotion with an appearance at the world premiere of the film in Los Angeles. Despite mixed reviews, Immortals ended up taking a whopping $226m worldwide.
In late 2011 Isabel decided to move home to Australia, saying that she now felt in a comfortable position work-wise to be able to live there again. She will no doubt be splitting her time between Oz and LA as work commitments increase. During her 3 and a half years living in LA, Isabel said that she was “kind of in denial about living there. It’s a funny place, an odd environment to live in … but I’ve decided to like it.” Ever the shy one, Isabel is skeptical about the press attention and life as a ‘celebrity’, but at the moment has made her peace with it as she loves the creative satisfaction she gets from acting – “With acting, there is quite a superficial side where it is based around money and wanting to succeed and fame, and that’s OK. But there is another side, which is about knowledge and storytelling. It is about creatively exploring characters and different concepts, ideas and stories. That’s the part I’m attracted to.” She hopes she can “learn to deal with it graciously,” and continue to “stay very separate from all the buzz and hype”. With a genuine passion and interest in making films, and a down-to-earth persona, Isabel’s going to be lighting up our screens with her unique style for a while to come!
Biography written by the Isabel Lucas Online webmistress. Please do not repost without permission.