As celluloid serial killers go, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is infamous, known for his murderous mayhem sprees in three Wolf Creek movies. But in the new six-episode series adaptation premiering this Friday on Pop (10/9c), he’s met his match in the form of a gun-toting teenage girl hell-bent on revenge for the slaughter of her family.

Lucy Fry is Eve Thorogood, an American girl on vacation with her family in the Australian Outback when a stranger shows up at their campsite and kills her parents and brother. Eve escapes, and instead of returning to Nebraska, she vows to find the maniac—and make him pay.

We caught up with the rising star, who is fueling comparisons to fellow Aussie beauty Margot Robbie by signing on to Bright, a Netflix fantasy flick from director David Ayers and Will Smith, who both just worked with Robbie on Suicide Squad. Turns out she relished the chance to channel her inner Gladiator and wield various weapons, from firearms to a spear-slinging woomera. Here, the 24-year-old outlines her badass transformation—and how hard it is to hold an American accent in the land down under.

“I felt so lucky to get a chance to play a kickass female hero because it doesn’t come around that often.”

What drew you to playing Eve?
I felt so lucky to get a chance to play a kickass female hero because it doesn’t come around that often. As a kid, I loved Gladiator and never expected I would ever get a chance to play something like that, that action hero. It’s a journey of revenge. And that was just so thrilling, to transform and be strong enough to go after one of the scariest serial killers ever written. It would be very easy to dissolve into being a victim and go crazy and never be able to really function again. But because the whole series is about her taking her life back, it felt very empowering. And I felt really lucky to get a chance to do that and find that strength in myself.

If this happened to you, would you go after the killer?
It’s such a tough question. I don’t think you’d ever know exactly what you’d do until you’re in that situation. I’d like to think I’d go after the serial killer, but I think I’d do it with a team.

The role is pretty physically demanding. How did you prepare?
As soon as I found out about it I started training. I hadn’t really run in two years. I hadn’t played any roles where I was required to be active. But I got back into running in the morning and when we got to Adelaide to start filming I had a personal trainer and started doing weights and eating more protein. And boxing. I became a badass.

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Had you ever used guns before in a role?
No, but we have some friends who have a cattle property in Central Queensland, in the middle of Australia, and they have guns. So we went there and set up a target and practiced shooting. I’d shot a gun before, a hunting rifle, but never on a set and never an Uzi or a pistol. So I had to learn that.

What other fun things did you get to do?
One of my favorite things was learning to throw the woomera, a device that holds a spear. It adds an extra meter to your arm. When you throw it, it arcs. It was really hard to learn. Jack Charles, who plays the indigenous elder… one of his good friends who grew up learning how to throw woomeras came and taught us. I love indigenous Australian culture and doing that in a film, when the sun was setting in a golden light, was really magical.

How hard was speaking in an American accent on set in Australia, surrounded by Australians?
It was harder than when I’m here [in America] and get to stay in the zone with it. It took commitment to stay in the accent. But I’ve done it a lot now so it’s easier.

Did you always want to act?
I was really shy when I was kid. My parents sent me to speech and drama because of it. I found this love for it and overcame my fear of being seen. 

Photos courtesy of Pop TV