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A modeling agent noticed Isabel Lucas in the middle of a Melbourne, Australia, farmer’s market when she was just 12 years old. Though it turned out she had no interest in the catwalk, she did end up winning a part in the long-running Aussie soap opera “Home and Away,” which also launched the careers of Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger and Guy Pearce. This summer, the 24-year-old Lucas tackles an American accent to play the Princeton astronomy-major girlfriend of Shia LaBeouf in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Here, she discusses the film, out Wednesday, as well as shooting in director Michael Bay’s car and backpacking through Europe.
PROVENANCE: Her dad is Australian and her mom is Swiss — and Lucas speaks French and German as well as English. She divides her time between her native Melbourne and Los Angeles.
This story first appeared in the June 18, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
BLOCKBUSTER BABY: While working on the upcoming HBO World War II miniseries “The Pacific,” Lucas caught the eye of Steven Spielberg, who then recommended her to Bay for a role in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” “Michael Bay is a master of the blockbuster genre, so I didn’t have to do much research on him,” she laughed. “Still, I was pretty taken aback when I got the part. Part of the very long audition included filming a scene in his car, which was a little unexpected.”
MIND OVER MATTER: “I don’t really get nervous for auditions, because I just see them as mini acting classes. There’s no need to have an attachment to the outcome because it’s out of your hands after that,” says the imperturbable Lucas. “There’s no point in dwelling on rejection.”
VAMPIRE CHIC: Lucas could give the “Twilight” franchise a run for its money with her upcoming thriller, “Daybreakers,” co-starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe. “My character is one of the only humans in a world that has been overrun with this vampire plague,” she says. “I have to hand it to the makeup department — the vampires were really quite horrific looking.”
SHORT COMMUTE: Lucas got to film “The Pacific” in her hometown. “The set was down the street from the place I get my coffee every morning,” she says. “It made it really easy to meet friends at the bar after work.” After her Stateside stint, Lucas is back in Australia again, shooting the family dramedy “Kin.”
WANDERLUST: She’s backpacked her way through Europe and Asia, but would most like to return to India or Africa, where she once spent two months in Namibia as a volunteer building irrigation systems for the nonprofit organization OzQuest. “My dad is a pilot so I think I was born with the travel bug,” she says. “I like to keep mobile. It keeps my mind awake.”