Rising Perth singer-songwriter Georgi Kay had never acted before being cast in Top of the Lake, a six-part BBC miniseries from The Piano director Jane Campion.
Shot in New Zealand, the Twin Peaks-esque drama stars Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham and Holly Hunter, and starts on UK-TV this Sunday.
Kay told AAA she did not know what she was auditioning for after a tip-off from Top of the Lake music supervisor Norman Parkhill. She thought it might be few days' work as an extra.
"If it's Neighbours, why not give it a go," the 20-year-old left-handed guitarist laughed from her home in City Beach. "Last year was to be my year of risk-taking. "I went in, there was a camera pointing at me and they gave me a script. I was freaking out. I've never acted before in my life."
Kay thought she blew the audition, but two weeks later she received a call from Campion telling her she'd landed the role of the loner Melissa, a musician.
In February last year, she joined Moss, Hunter and the rest of the cast on New Zealand's South Island for a month of shooting.
"They were so great and really lovely," Kay said. "I'm really good mates with Liz Moss and Holly, it was just like a big family. You could ask them anything about acting.
"The thing that Jane taught me is that character kind of finds you and then just breathe and live it. You don't act, really. It's very natural and organic."
In January, Kay reunited with the cast at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah for the premiere of Top of the Lake. "I think I cried," the otherwise unflappable muso said of seeing herself on the big screen for the first time.
She performs two of her own songs, current Triple J favourite Ipswich and Right Next to You, as well as Bjork's Yoga, in the series.
The three tracks will appear on an EP, due for release soon through respected label Ivy League, also home to hot young Australian acts Alpine, Cloud Control and the Rubens.
Kay, who inked the record deal late last month, has already won an ARIA Award for her vocals on the Feenixpawl dance hit, In My Mind, and the 2010 WAMi Song of the Year gong for her Breakfast in Bedlam.
She describes her "dark pop" sound as a cross between Depeche Mode and Florence and the Machine - she recently travelled to the UK to write with Isabella "Machine" Summers.
The horror film fan said she'd love to do more acting, but the focus now returns to music and more time away from Perth."I just got a new suitcase for my birthday," Kay said. "So that's going to be my new home."
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