Melanie Lynskey never had any intention of actually taking on a role in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures

Melanie Lynskey, now 44, remembers growing up as a teenager and the day when talent scouts came to her high school looking for leads. While “Heavenly Creatures” had a budget of just $5 million, that was a hefty sum for a New Zealand production in the mid-1990s. As such, there was a lot of secrecy surrounding the film. Instead of reading pages or pages, Lynskey recalled having to show off her improvisational skills:

“They came to my high school. There was only one day. Someone said, ‘Oh, some people are auditioning for a movie here.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a good thing when I say when I apply to drama school that I auditioned for a film, so I have that experience.’ I don’t know what I was thinking, but they would always bring two people into a free space at school at a time, and they didn’t want to show anyone a script or anything, so they just let us improvise.”

Lynskey wasn’t there to get a part — she was just testing what a real audition felt like. She already had ambitions to be an actress, but never dreamed that she would act in a feature film while still in school. She and a friend walked in with no expectations. It also helped that she and her friend were already taking improv classes. She said:

“I was dating my friend Susie […] And we just improvised a few scenes together. And we were in a theater improvisation class that we did every Friday night. So we were used to it. It was, you know, kind of second nature to us.”

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