New Plymouth-born actor Melanie Lynskey is coming home to star in the romantic comedy Show Of Hands.
The news was announced in New Plymouth last night by the film's writer and director, ex-Taranaki resident Anthony McCarten.
Shooting for the film begins next month and will go for about six weeks.
McCarten said negotiations with Lynskey were concluded on Monday.
"She was chosen because she is perfect for the role," he said.
"She had heard of me before and she read the script and decided solely based on that.
"She is courted by Hollywood directors, but has decided to come back here for this role."
Lynskey has featured in several films including Flags Of Our Fathers (2006), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Ever After (1998) and Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994).
Lynskey married actor Jimmi Simpson in April and the couple now live in Los Angeles. She currently appears on New Zealand television in the US sitcom Two And A Half Men.
McCarten said the other two leads would be played by Craig Hall, who played the part of Mike in the 2005 film King Kong, and Stephen Lovatt, a New Zealand actor probably best known for his role as Max Hoyland on Neighbours.
Show Of Hands is about a competition where people try to keep their hands on a car for longer than everyone else to win the car.
"They used to run these competitions in the 1980s where people would go for six days with no sleep to win a car," McCarten said.
There will be a core cast of 20 with 50 extras. McCarten, best known for his play Ladies' Night, once worked for the Taranaki Herald, but is now based in England.
Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle said the film was a wonderful opportunity for one of Hollywood's rising stars to give something back to her home region.
McCarten said the film was planned for release late next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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