Canberra actor Liv Hewson has made significant strides in the extremely competitive Hollywood film industry since first venturing over to Los Angeles fresh out of Canberra College in 2014.
“Moving over there was unlike anything I’ve ever done, it was a very different city and it took me a little while to find my feet in it,” Hewson says.
Their most recent work sees Hewson take to the silver screen alongside formidable company in the newsroom, in the #metoo biographical drama, Bombshell.
Bombshell is a revealing look inside Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.
Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and John Lithgow are among the all-star cast, while Hewson’s minor yet prominent role sees them play a member of former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s team, portrayed masterfully by Academy Award winner Charlize Theron.
“She’s just a powerhouse and it was wonderful to be able to watch her work. The work she does in this film is incredible,” Hewson says of working with Theron.
Hewson says the process of getting cast in Bombshell proved relatively straight forward.
“I remember getting the email asking me to audition, and it was like ‘there’s this film, here’s what it’s about, who’s involved, do you want to audition,’ and I said ‘of course, of course I do’.
“I went in to read and Jay (Roach) the director was there and then I got it. It was a very simple process.”
Hewson felt so compelled by the work due to their belief in the themes behind it.
“I felt a responsibility to go right by the story, and treat the subject matter with the greatest amount of care possible. Being able to pour our energy into that was quite cathartic, I think.
“I didn’t know much about the events the film is based on prior to filming but I knew a little bit, and I had the sense that it was important.
“I also had the sense going in to audition for it that even if I didn’t get it, it wouldn’t matter because I’m excited to see it. And when I feel that way about a project, I know it will be good,” they say.
Hewson says of everything she’s accomplished in her burgeoning career, Bombshell is a work she feels most proud of.
“It’s a bit surreal I think. I’m obviously thrilled, and I’m just delighted that I got such compelling and interesting material to work with.
“I’ve seen it three times – the most I’ve seen something I’ve been in,” they say.
It’s been several years since Hewson left her family home in the leafy Canberra suburb of Hughes for the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Hewson says the differences between Canberra and LA were amplified on their first visit home.
“It was just the population density. I came back to Canberra was talking around like ‘where is everyone’; I went ‘oh, this is everyone’ (laughs). It felt like a ghost town and I had to adjust to that.”
Given the polarity between the cities, Hewson says there was a significant adjustment process at first, but is now settled and happy in LA.
“I learned a lot about myself through that process as well I think … It was a lot of stuff everybody learns about themselves in their early 20s, what is now just grown-up stuff for me,” Hewson says.
“It was a challenging time, one I’m grateful for, and one I’m still in.”
Hewson says they get home once a year over Christmas these days, and cherishes their time here.
“I was just there which was lovely but heartbreaking,” they say, referring to the pervasive bushfire smoke Canberra has been experiencing of late.
See Liv Hewson in Bombshell, out in cinemas from today, 16 January.