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A Star Is Born! Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner Anna McGahan Gets Glammed Up For Her Big Moment

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Jun. 28 2012, Published 10:08 a.m. ET

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By Leah Ornstein - Features Editor

How did Anna McGahan spend the hours leading up to the biggest moment of her life? Getting glammed up by an A-list hair and makeup team with!

The Australian actress, who was awarded the 4th annual Heath Ledger Scholarship at the Australians in Film Awards & Benefit Dinner on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, which was attended by everyone from Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth to Abbie Cornish, chatted exclusively with about the exciting honors as she got her hair done by celebrity stylist Sean James for N4/Opus Beauty and his team of experts.

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“It’s been a whirlwind,” the 24-year-old emerging actress revealed about discovering that she had won the coveted award, which comes with a $10,000 cash prize, a scholarship to the Stella Adler School of acting and a round-trip ticket from Australia to Los Angeles on Virgin Australia.

“Everything is brand new.”

The stunning red head, who is currently filming a television show in Australia called House Husbands, had never been to America before learning she was short-listed for the award, but plans on moving to Los Angeles with her scholarship and award money.

“I’ve only been professionally acting for a year and a half,” explains Anna, who is sure to follow in the footsteps of the scholarship alum, Dark Shadows actress Bella Heathcote.

In the swanky styling suite at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Anna was surrounded by fellow Aussie actresses who have already made a name for themselves in Hollywood; The Vow’s Jessica McNamee, Extra’s Renee Bargh, former Melrose Place star Stephanie Jacobsen and Flight Plan’s Kate Beahan.

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Want to get Anna’s gorgeous red carpet look?

“I wanted to give her a wild and undone but non-contrived look,” says James, who used products from Number 4 as well as Spornette brushes and a Solano 3500 blowdryer, to achieve the stunning style.

“After towel-drying her hair, I added Styling Foam and brushed it though with a paddle brush and blowdried until the hair was totally defrizzed. Taking 2-inch sections, I smoothed the ends with a porcupine brush and continued to blowdry, smoothing and rounding out the ends.”

Liam Hemsworth

“Next, I started with sections at the nape of her neck, and taking vertical sections I sprayed with Vertical Hold hair spray, winding away from the face with a 1-inch barrel HOT TOOLS curling iron. I did this repeatedly until I got to the top center part.”

“Spraying one more time with Mighty Hairspray, I allowed the hair to sit and set. Right before she was ready to hit the red carpet, I tipped her head upside down and sprayed Mighty at the roots and flipped her hair back and positioned in a wild style. I finished off the look with a small pump of Flouro 5 for shine and protection.”

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After hours (and years!) of preparation, Anna was finally ready to hit the red carpet, where she was dressed by celebrity stylist Avo Yermagyan in a gorgeously hued Aurelio Costarella gown, a London Manori ring, Blue Candy earrings, a Nina clutch and ShoeMint heels.


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