Shy Melanie Lynskey top talent

Melanie Lynskey's profile in Tinseltown is set to soar.

But the Kiwi actress, who stars in upcoming big-budget movie releases The Informant! and Up In The Air, alongside Matt Damon and George Clooney, has admitted she struggles with shyness.

"I'm awkward and shy when I'm myself," Lynskey said. "That's why I love playing a part; I don't feel myself there anymore.

"That's why I love doing accents. I love getting out of myself."

The Informant! is released in New Zealand on Thursday after rave reviews at North American film festivals.

Lynskey, 32, became a teenage acting sensation following her role in Peter Jackson's 1994 hit movie Heavenly Creatures alongside Kate Winslet.

She also plays stalker Rose in hit American TV comedy Two And A Half Men.

However, her acting stocks are now set to rise following the upcoming movie releases, with Up In The Air set for a December 25 release.

But she's scared of the hype surrounding her new movies. "I'm terrified of all of it. I don't like the idea of being a famous person," she added. "I don't like trying to sell myself or going to fancy parties."

She has also completed filming Leaves Of Grass where she plays the wife of award-winning actor Edward Norton.

Leaves Of Grass director Tim Blake Nelson said of Lynskey: "Melanie came in and read for me and though she's from New Zealand she was by far the most credible version of an Oklahoma girl I saw.

"And I probably auditioned 50 actresses for that role."

Sunday News