Rising *Perth *actress *Olivia DeJonge *is hot property in the US so she was excited to land her first major Australian project, the ABC thriller Hiding, not long after returning home last year.
"I auditioned for it a week after I got back from the US and found out a couple of weeks later," DeJonge told _AAA _on the Sydney set of Hiding, which premieres today at 8.30pm on ABC.
"This is my first big Australian thing and it is really nice. I am lucky I think to be working so close to home."
The 16-year-old *Presbyterian Ladies' College *student plays Gold Coast schoolgirl Shaneen Quigg, whose family ( *James Stewart *, Perth's *Kate Jenkinson *and *Lincoln Younes *) are placed in witness protection in Sydney after her dad is busted with drugs in their home.
Shaneen has just been suspended from school so is the only one to embrace the change and her new name, Tara Swift.
"She is very quirky, different - and doesn't really care what anyone else thinks," DeJonge explained.
"She is also very independent and stands up for what she believes in. At the same time she is very down to earth, loves her family and is very optimistic about everything."
DeJonge bonded quickly with her co-stars, who helped her adjust to the faster pace of TV.
She had to take a term off Year 11 to film Hiding but her school is supportive and she is committed to finishing Year 12 this year.
"I have to educate myself, sadly," DeJonge joked.
"I had a maths test this morning actually. I have two tutors - a maths tutor and another tutor who does all the other subjects
"It is part of the deal with myself; I really want to finish school, I like learning and education, and I think it is really important.
"My own standard is I have to pass or maybe I have to cut back on some of this stuff."
DeJonge has been represented by the prestigious Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles since she was 12 and her star will continue to rise when psychological thriller The Visit is released in September.
The low-budget *M. Night Shyamalan *film, previously called Sundowning, was filmed in Philadelphia over three months early last year.
DeJonge and fellow Aussie *Ed Oxenbould *(of Paper Planes) play siblings sent by their single mother ( *Kathryn Hahn *) to stay at their grandparents' remote Pennsylvania farm for a week. There they discover the elderly couple are involved in something deeply disturbing. SUE YEAP
standard is I have to pass or maybe I have to cut back on some of this stuff.'