26/08/2020 9:39 AM AEST

From Soapland To Hollywood: 17 Soap Stars Who Found Success In The US

Aussie soaps such as ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Neighbours’ have seen more than a few of their young stars jet off to LA and impress movie business bigwigs.

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Soap stars from Australia and the UK have managed to make a name for themselves in Tinsel Town, with the latest to impress fans with his US success being EasterEnder’s Alex Ferns in the new Batman film trailer

The actor is set to play Gotham Police Commissioner Pete Savage in the caped crusader’s upcoming big-screen outing – but he’s far from the first small screen star to go from soapland to Hollywood.

Over the years, Aussie soaps such as ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Neighbours’ have also seen more than a few of their young stars jet off to LA and impress movie business bigwigs.

In the UK, the likes of EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Coronation Street have developed a proven track record when it comes to helping launch international careers. 

Here’s just 17 former soap stars who made a name for themselves Stateside... 

Chris Hemsworth

Jim Spellman via Getty Images
Actor Chris Hemsworth attends the Build Series to discuss "Men in Black: International" at Build Studio on June 13, 2019 in New York City. 

Long before Chris was making film fans swoon as Hollywood superhero Thor, he was tearing up the waves of Summer Bay as ’Home and Away’s Kim Hyde. 

As well as his Marvel Cinematic Universe role, Chris’ film credits include ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Men in Black: International’.

Margot Robbie

Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
Margot Robbie attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Margot is arguably soapland’s biggest Hollywood export, having gone from ‘Neighbours’ school girl Donna Friedman to Leonardo DiCaprio’s on-screen wife Naomi Lapaglia in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’. 

Since her international breakthrough role, Margot has starred in films including ‘Focus’, ‘The Big Short’, ‘The Legend of Tarzan’, ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’, ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ and ‘Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood’. 

Margot was also nominated for Oscars for her roles in ‘I, Tonya’ and ‘Bombshell’.

Liam Hemsworth

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Chris’ little brother Liam had guest roles in Aussie’s two biggest soaps ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Home And Away’ before finding a new level of fame in The Hunger Games film series alongside Jennifer Lawrence in 2012. 

His other film credits include ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, ‘The Expendables 2’ and Netflix’s ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’

Samara Weaving

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Samara Weaving arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California.

After waving goodbye to Summer Bay in 2013 when she left her role as ’Home and Away’s Indi Walker, Samara packed off to the US where she was cast in Ash vs Evil Dead in 2015.

In 2017, she appeared in Oscar-winning film ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, and is set to appear in ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music in 2020’. Her other US TV credits include ‘SMILF’, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and Netflix mini-series ‘Hollywood’. 

Ben Hardy

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In one pretty impressive career move, former ‘EastEnders’ star Ben (aka Peter Beale) swapped Walford for Wolverine by nabbing a role in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, playing Angel. 

He also won acclaim when he was cast as Roger Taylor in the hit Freddie Mercury biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and has appeared in other films including ‘Only The Brave’ and ‘6 Underground’.

Nathalie Emmanuel

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Nathalie went from playing Hollyoaks’ Sasha Valentine to starring in one of the world’s biggest shows when she was cast as Missandei in ‘Game Of Thrones’ in 2013 – a role she played until the series’ conclusion in 2019. 

She currently voices Deet in Netflix’s ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’, while her film credits include her role as Ramsey in ‘Fast And Furious’ 7, 8 and the upcoming 9th instalment, as well as the ‘Maze Runner’ film series.

Roxanne McKee

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Roxanne spent three years in ‘Hollyoaks’ as Louise Summers, before taking a number of small parts in the UK and eventually relocating.

In the US, she reached a new fanbase when she played Doreah in ‘Game Of Thrones’ from 2011 to 2012, before going on to appear in US TV series ‘Dominion’, as well as starring in films including ‘Vendetta’ and ‘The Legend of Hercules’.

Sam Strike

John Phillips/Invision/AP

‘EastEnders’ original Johnny Carter actor Sam followed Ben Hardy’s lead out of from Albert Square, and nabbed himself a part in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel Leatherface. 

He has also appeared on US TV series ‘Mindhunter’, ‘Nightflyers’ and ‘FBI: Most Wanted’.

Ricky Whittle

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis via Getty Images

Ricky set off for LA not long after leaving his role as Calvin Valentine in ‘Hollyoaks’ in 2011.

After nabbing a number of small roles, he finally got his big US break in 2014, when he began playing Lincoln in the CW Network drama ‘The 100’. 

Since then, Ricky has appeared in the US adaptation of BBC drama ‘Mistresses’, as well as taking the lead role of Shadow Moon in ‘American Gods’. In 2018, he also appeared in Netflix film ‘Nappily Ever After’.

Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Rachel – who played Mitzeee Minniver on Hollyoaks – won an Oscar in 2018 for her short film The Silent Child, which told the story of a four-year-old deaf girl, learning to communicate. 

She wrote, produced and starred in the film, while her real-life boyfriend Chris – who previously appeared as a cagefighter on Hollyoaks – directed it.

Claire Cooper

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Claire waved goodbye to Hollyoaks’ Jacqui McQueen in 2013, going on to star in the NBC drama A.D. The Bible Continues. 

She has since appeared in TV series Strike Back, Knightfall and 12 Monkeys, as well as In The Club back here in the UK.

Michelle Ryan


Back in 2007, Michelle became one of EastEnders’ first big international successes when the former Zoe Slater star was cast in a US TV remake of The Bionic Woman.

Anna Friel

Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

While you’re more likely to recognise Anna from movies, ITV’s Marcella, or perhaps the West End stage, she actually started out in Brookside back in 1993.

She headed out to the US in the late 90s, and appeared in a plethora of films and TV shows, but her breakthrough role came in 2007 when she was cast in the lead role of comedy drama Pushing Daises. The show earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. 

Some of Anna’s film credits include Limitless, The Look of Love and I.T, while her role in British crime noir Marcella also won her an International Emmy Award in 2017.

Rob Kazinsky

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Rob’s bad boy character Sean Slater caused plenty of trouble in Walford prior to his exit in 2009, and he went on to stir things up as a vampire in US fantasy horror series True Blood in 2013. 

Since then, Rob’s appeared in films including Pacific Rim, Hot Pursuit and Captain Marvel and starred in Fox series Second Chance.

Zaraah Abrahams

Jon Furniss/Invision/AP

Zaraah left her role as Coronation Street’s Joanne Jackson back in 2007, and in 2015 she starred in the US medical drama The Knick, where she played Opal Edwards in the second series.

Barry Sloane

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Barry, who played Hollyoaks serial killer Niall Rafferty until 2008, and went on to have a regular role in hit US drama Revenge from 2012 to 2014.

He’s also appeared in The Whispers, Longmire, Saints & Strangers, Six, L.A.’s Finest and Bluff City Law.

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