Tessa de Josselin is a talented and charismatic young actor currently in, or about to appear in, an impressively diverse range of TV shows and movies. From a regular gig playing surf babe Billie Ashford on Home and Away to her role as the main character's sister in the highly-anticipated film-adaptation of Timothy Conigrave's cult novel, Holding the Man, it's going to be difficult to miss Tessa on a screen near you in the not too distant future.
During her shoot for i-D Tessa took some time to tell us a bit more about herself.
1. She has lived between Australia and Germany thanks to a key role in a kids show, which shoots half the time in each country.
"It's called In Your Dreams and it's an Australian / German co-production popular with kids all over the world. It was one of my first jobs and we just finished shooting Season 2. It's all shot in English but translated into lots of languages so they look to get funding from all over. It's been great to be able to travel for work.
2. Guy Pearce plays her dad in Holding the Man.
"I have been lucky to work with so many of Australia's great actors in this film. Guy Pearce plays my dad, Ryan Corr is the main character Tim, Geoffrey Rush has a part as well as Anthony LaPaglia and Sarah Snook. It's directed by Neil Armfield who did Candy so it's just such an exciting film."
3. She'll also play a lesbian in one of her next roles.
"I've also been working on another show, an ABC TV series by the same people who did Redfern Now. Again it's a mostly Indigenous cast and is a kids series but it's more gritty and real. I play a lesbian, which is great, because there aren't many gay roles being written for young adults on commercial tv."
4. Like the rest of us she watched Home and Away growing up.
"I've always thought about how great it would be to be on Home and Away. I didn't know the extent of its international following until I started working on it - it's huge. I watched it as a kid. I grew up with it. And they were just inducted into the Hall of Fame at the recent Logies, it's pretty impressive."
5. She's a keen surfer IRL who's passionate about the planet.
"I studied Environmental Sciences at Uni and then went on to work for the State Government for two years doing assessment reports for them on the environment. There are also a couple of grass-roots organizations that I've worked with from the Northern Beaches: the Two Hands Project, which is a beach regeneration group and Surf Rider Foundation who are all about beach preservation."
6. She knows how to defend herself.
"I have a black belt in Taekwondo. I started learning when I was 14 and I found it really fun. It's like a dance in a way but more practical because you can use it to defend yourself. I was considered a junior black belt because I was under 18. When you get your black belt they give you a Visa to go fight in Korea. I didn't follow through with it but it was an option."
7. She likes the idea of playing strong female roles in films.
"I recently watched an Australian film called Tracks with Mia Wasikowska - it was really beautiful and I would have loved to have played that role. She was a girl who walked with camels and it was a strong depiction of a woman who knows what she wants."
8. The last film that really moved her was…
"…Vincent Gallo's Buffalo 66. It was dark and beautifully shot; a dark love story but in a really enticing and engaging way.
9. She's excited about positive developments in the film industry.
"Meryl Streep has created a program for women over 40 to write screen plays and theatre pieces. It's currently such a male dominated industry that when a strong female roles come up they're quite revered and they probably stick more strongly in your mind when you watch them. It is changing and things like this will help but there is still a way to go. "
10. Holding the Man is closing the Sydney Film Festival.
"It's going to be so great to catch up with everyone who worked on the film and see it for the first time in this environment. I hope people like it."