Shelley Quartermaine takes on Hollywood after landing big break in US film, 1 Million Followers


It’s funny how things have a way of working out.

Just one year ago Narrogin-raised actor and singer Shelley Q moved to Sydney with hopes to crack into the notoriously difficult industry, only to be in lockdown for six months.

Now the creative – who was born Shelley Quartermaine – is living about as far away as you can get from the farm, in Hollywood after getting her big break as the lead in the US feature film, 1 Million Followers, which was shot in Phuket and Calgary, Canada earlier this year.

“I actually had never left Australia,” she told AAA from her West Hollywood pad.

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Ironically, the 22-year-old — who has already made a name for herself in the Perth arts scene — plays the role of an American country girl, Karissa. A part she was up against thousands of other actors for, but scored in part to her flawless Californian accent.

“I decided I was going to come out (of lockdown) fluent American. So every single day, I would wake up, I would do it for three hours every single day for five months,” she said.

“I wrote ‘at the end of this lockdown, I’m going to sound flawlessly American, and I’m going to book an American movie’.”

Camera IconIronically, 22-year-old Shelley Q plays the role of an American country girl, Karissa. Credit: Kadian Hall

And it came true.

“I got this worldwide casting audition,” she said. “Within a few days, I got a call back and then the week later I met the director on Zoom, and he was in LA, and he was like, ‘we love you. We’d love to have you as our title lead and you leave in four months’.”

“I packed my life away into three massive suitcases and I took it with me to set to Thailand.

“I told the producer, ‘this is going to sound crazy, my lease ends, I’m just going to pack my stuff and be a free-baller around the globe’.”

She’s tight-lipped about spoilers, the film is expected to be released early next year, but she describes it as a “social media-based thriller”.

“I’m not a method actor. But when you’re constantly around all the other characters and you’re staying at the same hotel and you are shooting on location and you’re living there, it became my life and it was the most unbelievable experience,” she said.

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