The Daily Telegraph (Aus) – November 6th 2011

Isabel Lucas moves back to Australia after making new movie Immortals

WHILE many Aussie actors head for Hollywood seeking fame and fortune, former Home and Away star Isabel Lucas is bucking the trend.

Instead the 26-year-old is homeward bound.

After three years of living in Los Angeles, Lucas tells Insider: “I’m really excited about moving back to Melbourne. I prefer living in Australia. That’s where I feel most comfortable.

“In LA you need to develop a good bullshit radar. It’s rough here. There’s a real harshness to living in LA and I find I have to put on my hard skin and let things slide like water off a duck’s back.”

Securing the much-coveted role of the goddess Athena in the $75 million, upcoming special effects-laden film Immortals has helped to establish the 26-year-old’s career. It has also afforded her the opportunity to live where she chooses.

She can just as easily be Hollywood’s next Aussie star-on-the-rise, living in Melbourne as the US.

“I don’t know about that (title) because it’s all very subjective and fleeting, but I do feel really lucky that now it’s not necessary for me to be based in LA anymore. I can commute back and forth for work for a month here and there when I need to,” she says.

Does this change of heart have anything to do with her Aussie-based boyfriend, musician Angus Stone?

“Maybe a little bit,” she laughs.

The blonde beauty has been photographed all over the globe including California’s Coachella Music Festival holding hands with Stone, half of the duo Angus and Julia Stone.

Like many young starlets, she’s been romantically linked to many of her co-stars some of whom include Adrien Grenier, Shia LeBeouf and Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as Aussie actors Chris Hemsworth and Joel Edgerton.

A little frustrated, she says: “I have a good amount of male friends who are just like big brothers. I’m grateful for that but it saddens me that they are pigeonholed.

“Hollywood doesn’t believe that platonic male/female relationships can exist.”

Wearing a fire-engine red, figure-hugging Gucci dress, black ballet slippers and a hint of mascara, this natural beauty is in Beverly Hills to promote the 3D-action adventure.

A testament to her growing status, Lucas was handed the role and didn’t have to battle it out in audition.

“It was great. I was sent the script and it was offered to me straight away,” she says. “It was pretty amazing.”

Her journey to success has come in spurts. She got the role in Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen relatively quickly after landing in Hollywood.

Admirably, she didn’t grab everything that was on offer.

“I turned down roles,” she says, referring to the typical route to stardom via cheesy horror movies. Although her background was in television, she was adamant she wanted to become a film actress.

“I consciously chose not to do TV here. After doing Home And Away, I wanted to do a different medium.”

She went onto star in Daybreakers opposite Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, and The Waiting City, with Edgerton and Radha Mitchell.

Endowed with an ethereal beauty, unlike the generic cookie-cutter Hollywood types, she was perfectly cast as an otherworldly creature.

Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Fall, The Cell) and from the producers of the mega-hit 300 (grossing US$450 million worldwide), Immortals is expected to do big business.

An epic tale of treachery and violence, it stars Mickey Rourke as the megalomaniacal King Hyperion whose goal is to obtain a weapon that can destroy ancient Greece and all humanity. Henry Cavill (Count of Monte Cristo) plays Theseus, a heroic villager chosen by Zeus to rise up against the king.

It also stars John Hurt, Frieda Pinto, and Stephen Dorff.

Like all such period pieces, the costumes are an integral component of the film’s authenticity.

“I loved my costumes. One of them was a golden corset. It was really tight and very uncomfortable. It had a chain skirt full of necklaces and weighed about 20kg so it was really heavy to wear, but looked beautiful,” she says.

In her own life, Lucas has become a fashion leader due to her ”Boho-chic” style and she can often be seen splashed across the fashion pages.

“I like wearing what’s comfortable and I dress how I feel. Sometimes that’s feminine and I might wear a lacy dress, and sometimes it’s more tomboyish and I’ll wear shorts and a vintage T-shirt.

Lucas will next be seen in Red Dawn, and two Aussie productions, A Heartbeat Away and The Wedding Party.

An active animal rights advocate, she’s fighting to preserve Australia’s Coral Sea by having it declared a protected marine mark.

“I’m the ambassador of the Coral Sea Campaign and I recently recorded a PSA (public service announcement) with Angus,” she says.

“We filmed on a Super 8 video and Julia wrote the song for us – which we hope will inspire people.”