Port Macquarie actress Lydia Sarks searches for Superbowl touchdown

Star on the rise: The familiar face of former Port Macquarie woman Lydia Sarks could light up more than 112 million TV screens across the world during next February's Super Bowl. 
Pic courtesy of Sydney photographer Sally Flegg.

Star on the rise: The familiar face of former Port Macquarie woman Lydia Sarks could light up more than 112 million TV screens across the world during next February's Super Bowl. Pic courtesy of Sydney photographer Sally Flegg.

IF fortune favours the brave, Lydia Sarks' striking smile could be unleashed on a worldwide audience of more than 100 million people come February 1.

She's already a recognisable face at home in the Hastings and lounge rooms across Australia, but featuring in a Doritos ad during the US Super Bowl is a whole new ball game.

Highly-prized ad spots during the telecast are worth mega-millions, have the ability to send sales soaring and acting careers sky-rocketing.

Of 5000 world wide entries in Doritos' #CrashtheSuperbowl competition, Ms Sarks' stand-out commercial has been shortlisted in the top 29 - one of only three Aussie ads to make the cut.

In January, she'll learn if the entry title 'Man Child' made the top 10. And the stakes are high.

The director of the winning ad will score $1 million and a life-changing 12-month contract with Universal Pictures in Hollywood.

Should 'Man Child' make the top 10, she's hoping the Hastings will rally behind her with online votes.

"Having watched all of the semi-finalists, it's going to be tricky, but I'm excited just to get this far," she said.

"Director Armand de Saint-Salvy had seen some of my work for Toyota and asked me to be a part of his entry, so we got together one Sunday and filmed it in one day," she explained.

"I play the wife of a man who loves Doritos so much, he literally acts like a kid.

"At the time, I didn't have much idea of the scope of the competition, but I know millions watch the Super Bowl and the ads are the cream of the crop. To win would be unimaginable."

It's definitely a long way from her parents' Ricardoes Tomatoes strawberry sheds.

The daughter of Anthony and Carole Sarks, was born in Port Macquarie, attended St Joseph's primary and high schools before completing her HSC at a Sydney boarding school.

The big-screen hopeful says her love of drama was born in the Hastings thanks to teacher Sandra Thompson and years of study with La Vive Classique Academy of Dance.

With a BA Communications (Theatre/Media) under her belt, Ms Sarks headed to the Big Smoke in 2009, determined to one day make it big in the United States.

Years of working in theatre production, picking up 'bit parts' and doing the audition rounds has certainly paid off in the past two years, with lead roles in commercials for Sony, QBE Insurance and Mortgage Choice (and not forgetting Ricardoes Tomatoes).

The turning point was securing a contract with Toyota as brand ambassador and the loveable Zoe in their long-running TV campaign.

"The Toyota gig has been my training wheels and has led to some fantastic opportunities," she said.

Doritos ad director, Armand de Saint-Salvy, believes it's only a matter of time until the down to earth country girl "hits the big time".

"The best direction you can give her, is to just get out of her way and let her talent speak for itself.

"When (not if) she hits the big time, I can't imagine her being any different, just a nice, decent chick from Port Macquarie," he said.

Can you imagine a $700 commercial from Down Under, starring a girl from Port Macquarie, broadcast to 100 million people during the Super Bowl?

If Ms Sarks' 'Man-Child' entry makes the top 10, she needs us to get clicking on the Doritos #CrashtheSuperbowl website. More details in January.

nicole.langdon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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