Greg Gayne/CBS
January 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM EST


Melanie Lynskey’s first role was as obsessive, 1950s New Zealand teenager Pauline Parker, who developed an intense and deadly relationship with schoolmate Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) in 1994’s Heavenly Creatures. While retreating from the world to their own fantasy kingdom, which was elaborately staged by director Peter Jackson (in his first non-horror/comedy film), the two resort to violence to keep the real world at bay.

Lynskey was only 16 when filming began, and recalls going to its Venice Film Festival premiere but had to skip its run at the Toronto International Film Festival because she’d already missed too much school. “I wasn’t allowed to leave,” she says. “I’d taken too much time off.”

NEXT: Lynskey and Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama

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