Bella Heathcote

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Australian actress Bella Heathcote has been cast as Leila in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.

E.L. James, author of the erotic romance books that inspired the film series, confirmed the news on Twitter Friday.

The Fifty Shades trilogy is about the BDSM-themed relationship between timid college graduate Anastastia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, and psychologically damaged, handsome billionaire businessman Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. Leila is one of Grey's "ex-subs," or ex-submissive lovers. The character resembles Steele and stalks her after suffering a mental breakdown.

Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades Of Grey Set


Find out five facts about Heathcote below.

1. Her mother passed away when she was 12

The 28-year-old actress told the New York TimesT magazine in 2012 she got into acting when she was a child and that her dad was "really supportive."

"My mum passed away when I was 12, so I think Dad was all for me being distracted," she said. "I don't know that he thought speech and drama would lead to a career. At the time, it was just an escape."

2. She's been acting onscreen for six years

Heathcote made her onscreen debut in the 2008 horror film Acolytes and was later cast in the popular Australian soap opera Neighbours, the show that helped launch singer Kylie Minogue and Suicide Squad and The Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie's careers.

"It was like 2009 so I would have been about 21," Heathcote told i-D magazine in 2014. "I only did eight episodes but I clearly remember Margot Robbie and Ash Brewer both being really nice to me, which is rare on a soap opera where there are a lot of day-players and some people on the show treat you accordingly. Those girls were excellent and welcoming and neither of them have changed either. Margot is still exactly who she was, which I love."

Bella Heathcote

Dave Allocca/

3. She played Johnny Depp's love interest

Heathcote played Victoria Winters and Josette du Pres alongside the actor's vampire character Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton's 2012 movie adaptation of Dark Shadows.

She also plays Jane Bennet in the horror film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

4. She is a recipient of the Heath Ledger scholarship

In 2010, Heathcote received the prestigious honor, which included an award of $10,000, from Australians in Film. The late Australian actor was an ambassador of the Los Angeles-based group. The scholarship helped Heathcote's career.

"Well, my manager used it. It was nice to have something that was identifiable to talk about," Heathcote told T.

"Winning the Heath Ledger scholarship was pretty incredible and then moving to L.A and getting to meet people who were so entrenched in the industry within the first week was pretty special," she told i-D. "I mean, even getting Neighbours was pretty eventful."

5. She was once linked to Brad Pitt and found that "hilarious"

"I remember being in New York when it happened and my friend sent me an e-mail saying, 'I can't believe you didn't tell me!'" the actress told T. "And then I went to Duane Reade and it was in Star magazine. But I wasn't bothered because it was just so far from the truth—it was hilarious to me."

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