Packed To The Rafters’ Jessica McNamee goes global

Her newest film just topped the US box office on its opening weekend.

Packed to the Rafters star Jessica McNamee is no doubt celebrating this morning after her new film, Mortal Kombat, has topped the US box office this weekend. 

WATCH: Mortal Kombat Official Trailer

Jessica has certainly come a long way since her first stint on Aussie screens as Lisa Duffy in Home and Away in 2007, with appearances in Battle of the Sexes (Emma Stone, Steve Carrell) and more. But, her newest movie, a film adaptation of the iconic video game franchise of the same name, is perhaps her most action-packed and physically demanding yet.

Mortal Kombat
Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat (2021) (Credit: Warner Bros.)

In Mortal Kombat, Jessica plays Sonya Blade, a U.S. special forces soldier who competes in an epic and bloody martial arts tournament with fighters from around the universe. Alongside Jessica are fellow Aussie Josh Lawson, as well as Lewis Tan, Sisi Stringer, Mehcad Brooks, Max Huang, Joe Taslim and more.

And, the epic action flick is an exciting Aussie export, filmed in South Australia and, per the ABC, created an estimated 580 jobs for the entertainment industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic – and with big rewards. 

Over the weekend, Mortal Kombat had a momentous debut in the United States, topping the box office and earning roughly $22.5m USD (approximately $29m AUD).

Mortal Kombat
Jessica McNamee and Josh Lawson battle it out in the SA desert in Mortal Kombat. (Credit: Warner Bros.)

Speaking to Collider’s Ladies Night podcast, Jessica said that “there was a lot of pressure from fans” to make a film that does the epic video game franchise justice and to “put out the best performance that’s possible.”

“[When I first got the role of Sonya Blade,] I got on the old interweb and Googled ‘Sonya Blade,’” Jessica recalled. “I did all this reading, I went into the fandom, I mean, it is endless.”

“And then, I found it really useful to watch YouTube videos of her playing the games. I got a real eye for what was going on and I learned more about the world. I was a Mario Kart pro, not so much a Mortal Kombat pro, growing up, so, yeah, there was a lot to learn.”

Mortal Kombat is currently airing in theatres across the country. 

And, while the film follows Jessica McNamee and Josh Lawson as fighters in an epic blood-thirsty martial arts tournament, it’s not the first film adaptation of a video game series to star an Aussie icon. Back in 1994, beloved Aussie legend and treasure Kylie Minogue famously played Cammy in Street Fighter.

WATCH: Kylie Minogue as Cammy in Street Fighter (1994)

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