RTE star Shelley shoots to fame with star role in Spielberg show
BLOCKBUSTER director Steven Spielberg has handed an RTE star the chance of a lifetime.
Shelley Conn (34), who starred on the hit series RAW, has been handpicked by Spielberg for his highly anticipated new TV series Terra Nova.
While he could have taken his pick from the cream of Hollywood's acting talent for the high-profile project, he chose the British actress who has appeared on BBC series Mistresses and Casualty -- but most recently made her name on our shores in RAW.
Shelley played the sultry wife of the restaurant manager, best known for her uptight nature and rocky relationship with her husband, played by actor Michael Colgan.
Although Shelley has had bit parts in various series over the year -- the half Indian/half British actress will be catapulted into international stardom since nabbing the coveted role on the new sci-fi show, which has a staggering budget of €110m for its first season.
The series is being tipped as being the next Lost.
Conn will play Elizabeth Shannon, a housewife from the year 2149, who travels back in time to the era of the dinosaurs in order to correct mistakes that have led the human species to the brink of extinction due to pollution and over-development.
In the Spielberg show, which was originally scheduled to launch next March, but is now expected to hit the airwaves later in the year, she's expected to co-star with Stephen Lang, who played the baddie in Avatar.
The world-renowned director clearly has a penchant for Irish talent, as he also cast Dubliner Jason O'Mara (37) in the role of Tim Shannon.
O'Mara, who travels to and from Ireland for work, is best known for starring in last year's short-lived series Life On Mars, about a modern day detective who travels back in time to solve a crime.
He most recently appeared in RTE's sketch comedy show Your Bad Self, alongside Amy Huberman, but has been given another shot at worldwide fame with his latest role as family man Shannon in the new programme -- which bosses said was "absolutely made for him".
Terra Nova will use a similar brand of state-of-the-art special effects as director James Cameron's Avatar.
The show has been co-written by several writers poached from the creative team behind the recently-defunct action series 24.
Filming for the show begins this month in Australia, with its premiere scheduled to air in May, while the 12-episode main season will be launched in the autumn.