Mia Wasikowska

<b>Mia Wasikowska:</b> Dancer turning to drama<br>
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U.S. audiences may soon discover Mia Wasikowska, 18, a dancer who started acting three years ago in small Australian films. She landed two high-profile roles in the U.S. this year, showcasing her talent and a face Vermeer would love.<br>
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In HBO's drama "In Treatment" (starting Jan. 28), Wasikowska plays Sophie, a bright, suicidal gymnast and client of a psychologist played by Gabriel Byrne.<br>
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"It's such an actor's dream to play a role so dense, with two people talking for 30 minutes," she said, adding that she researched the role by talking to the writer and the director, and getting on-the-job coaching from Byrne.<br>
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Next year, she'll appear as a Jewish refugee in "Defiance," a film starring Daniel Craig expected later in 2008.<br>
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The writers strike makes her next move uncertain. But she hopes, she said, "to find projects that stimulate and challenge me and make me think."<br>
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<i> -- Lynn Smith</i>

( Patrick Riviere / Getty Images )

Mia Wasikowska: Dancer turning to drama

U.S. audiences may soon discover Mia Wasikowska, 18, a dancer who started acting three years ago in small Australian films. She landed two high-profile roles in the U.S. this year, showcasing her talent and a face Vermeer would love.

In HBO's drama "In Treatment" (starting Jan. 28), Wasikowska plays Sophie, a bright, suicidal gymnast and client of a psychologist played by Gabriel Byrne.

"It's such an actor's dream to play a role so dense, with two people talking for 30 minutes," she said, adding that she researched the role by talking to the writer and the director, and getting on-the-job coaching from Byrne.

Next year, she'll appear as a Jewish refugee in "Defiance," a film starring Daniel Craig expected later in 2008.

The writers strike makes her next move uncertain. But she hopes, she said, "to find projects that stimulate and challenge me and make me think."

-- Lynn Smith

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