Anderson swaps LA for WA
Esther Anderson. Picture: Gerald Moscarda/The West Australian

She left Summer Bay more than two years ago for the twinkling lights of Hollywood. But it's Perth, rather than Tinseltown, that has beckoned Esther Anderson back Down Under to shoot her first feature film on WA soil.

The Geelong-raised actress spent three years playing cop Charlie Buckton on Home and Away, where she racked up both Gold and Silver Logie nominations, before following in the footsteps of many former soap stars and flying the coop for Los Angeles.

However, Anderson was pleasantly surprised when she was given the offer to star in independent flick Broken Contract back in Australia, which saw her team up with Offspring actor Christopher Morris to shoot scenes at a number of iconic WA locations such East Perth's Shape Bar and Fremantle in recent weeks.

"I had a look at the script and thought it looked like something really fun," the 34-year-old told AAA of her decision to take on the role.

"It's a comedy as well as a drama with a lot of action. Having the comedy element means there is a lot of room for things to go wrong, which has been interesting."

Admitting it took her a while to get settled after moving to Hollywood, Anderson got her big break in the US last year when she scored a part in NBC faux- reality series Siberia, which took her to the freezing reaches of Canada for filming.

Although the show is yet to be renewed for a second season, she said the Survivor-meets-Lost drama was one of her most rewarding projects to date.

"It starts out like a reality show with contestants competing for money but everything goes from bad to worse," Anderson explained.

"People go missing and start dying and the producers don't show up to help. It was a lot of fun, despite the conditions - we were in -30C and in some points it would snow up to our waists.

"It was probably the most challenging shoot I have ever been on but it was so worth it."

Anderson is candid when she speaks about the other challenges that come with life as an actor, including homesickness and a lack of job security.

But she also said having a strong group of Australian friends in LA gave her a sense of community in the notoriously cut-throat city.

"As much as there are that many opportunities over there, it is that much more competitive as well," Anderson said.

"You hear stories of people that have been there for six years before they get their first break, so it's nice to have that support - I love that Australians are so grounded."

The West Australian

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