Teresa Mary Palmer
(born February 26,
1986) is an Australian actress and model who made her film debut in
the suicide drama 2:37. Palmer was seen in The Grudge 2 in 2006, in
December Boys and in the 2008 children's fantasy Bedtime Stories.
She appeared in The Sorcerer's Apprentice in 2010 and her films in
2011 include her role as Number Six in the sci-fi film I Am Number
Four and playing the love interest in Take Me Home Tonight. In 2013,
she starred in the zombie love story, Warm Bodies and the romantic
war film, Love and Honor. In 2014, she co-starred in the
direct-to-video romantic drama film Parts Per Billion, the thriller
film Cut Bank and had the leading role in the independent drama film
The Ever After, which she co-wrote and co-produced with her husband,
director Mark Webber. She co-starred in the 2014 black comedy
thriller film Kill Me Three Times and in the 2015 remake of Point
In 2016, Palmer played the female lead role in the film adaptation
of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Choice.
Palmer was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. She is the
only child of Kevin Palmer, an investor, and Paula Sanders, a former
nurse and missionary. Her parents divorced in 1989 when she was
three. She has a stepmother, Karen Palmer, as well as two
half-sisters and two stepbrothers, who lived with her father. Palmer
stated to Interview that she "came from rather humble beginnings";
she lived in public housing with her mother, and grew up on her
father's farm in the Adelaide Hills. Palmer was named after Mother
Teresa by her mother, and has stated that she had a "tough
upbringing" due to her mother's manic depression.
Palmer was a student at Mercedes College, a private Catholic day
school, and won a local casting audition, "Search for a Movie Star",
in 2003. Her first acting job was dressing up as Strawberry
Shortcake and Santa's Little Helper on weekends for promotions in
shopping centres near Adelaide. Palmer went to acting classes for a
couple of years and appeared in a few television commercials. She
was a fast food attendant at Hungry Jack's in Rundle Mall in 2005,
before working at clothing retailers Supré, Mambo Australia, and
After graduating from high school, Palmer got a call from her local
talent agent about appearing in a student film, 2:37. The director
had seen her head shot on the acting agency's website and wanted her
to be in the movie. Palmer thought that she would work in an animal
rescue service, and eventually open her own animal welfare agency.
She was accepted into university to study teaching and was taking a
course on journalism, but had always dreamt of acting. Palmer quit
university to work on the film.
Palmer had been an extra on Deck Dogz (2005), and other films shot
in Adelaide. At the age of 18, she was cast by filmmaker Murali K.
Thalluri in the independent Australian film 2:37. Palmer portrayed
Melody in the film, a popular high school student who becomes
suicidal after being impregnated by her brother. She was nominated
for the 2006 Australian Film Institute Award for Best/ ok Lead
Actress for her performance. She then signed with a talent agent in
Sydney. A role in Wolf Creek (2005) followed, in a pool party scene.
Palmer starred in the psychological thriller Restraint, with English
actor Stephen Moyer and Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel. Shot on
location around New South Wales in mid-2005, the film was written by
Dave Warner and directed by David Denneen. Palmer was named an
Australian "star of tomorrow" by Screen International that year. She
then starred in December Boys, a coming-of-age film set in the
1960s, based on a novel by Michael Noonan. She played Lucy, who has
a romance with Daniel Radcliffe's character on a remote beach
resort. Palmer studied Dominique Swain's performance in Lolita
(1997) to capture her character's overt sexuality. The film began
shooting in November 2005 on the south coast of Australia. It was
released on 14 September 2007 in the UK and US and 20 September 2007
in Australia and received mixed reviews and failed at the box
2:37 premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard
selection. The film received a standing ovation, a turning point for
Palmer, giving her confidence in acting as a career. The trip to
Cannes lead her to meet her manager, David Seltzer, and American
talent agents. She signed with the William Morris Agency.
Palmer was cast to star with Tom Sturridge in her first American
feature, Jumper, a science fiction film directed by Doug Liman. Her
part was later recast when the lead characters were rewritten for
older actors; her role went to Rachel Bilson. Palmer was devastated
from losing the role and returned to Adelaide for a few months. She
made her Hollywood feature film debut in The Grudge 2 in 2006, a
horror sequel starring Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Palmer described her character, Vanessa, as "the bitchy schoolgirl".
The Grudge 2 was released in North America on October 13, 2006
(Friday the 13th) to negative reviews and grossed $70 million
worldwide and its $20 million budget.
In early 2007, Palmer was cast as Tori Frederking in the comedy Take
Me Home Tonight, starring Anna Faris, Dan Fogler and Topher Grace.
Set in the 1980s, the film was directed by Michael Dowse and
released in March 2011. Take Me Home Tonight has received negative
reviews from film critics and was a box office flop, failing to
recoup its $19 million budget. Palmer starred in the film clip for
the 2007 single "Breaking Up", by the band Eskimo Joe, shot in
Newcastle. Palmer jumps into the sea with the band's singer, Kavyen
Temperley. Palmer relocated from Semaphore Beach in Adelaide to Los
Angeles in May 2007 to further her career, and began auditioning for
films. She stated that Los Angeles was "a big adjustment" and "very
different" from her home in Australia. She went through a period of
loneliness and depression, and considered going back home until she
made friends there. In November 2007, Palmer was cast as the
villain, Talia al Ghul, in the DC Comics superhero film, Justice
League of America, alongside D.J. Cotrona, Adam Brody, Anton Yelchin,
Common and Megan Gale. George Miller was set to direct the film, but
it was cancelled by Warner Bros. due to script rewrite issues and
the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
Palmer was the face of Sydney jeweller Jan Logan's "modern darling"
collection in 2008. She was picked that year by Adam Sandler from an
audition tape to play his love interest in the Walt Disney Pictures
children's film, Bedtime Stories. She played an heiress, Violet
Nottingham, starring alongside Guy Pearce and Courteney Cox. Sandler
also put Palmer's mother and best friend in scenes in the film. It
was released on 25 December 2008 and received mixed to negative
reviews but grossed $212 million worldwide on its $80 million
Palmer won the romantic lead in Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice,
produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Jon Turteltaub. The
film was based on the relevant section of the animated film Fantasia
(1940), which was set to a short scherzo for orchestra by Paul Dukas,
L'apprenti sorcier (The Sorcerer's Apprentice, published in 1897,
and by far, the best known of Dukas' compositions), all of which
were inspired by the eponymous poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Palmer stayed in Manhattan's West Village while filming for six
months. She played Becky Barnes, a college student who is pursued by
Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a physics student and apprentice to the
wizard Balthazar (Nicolas Cage). It was released on July 14, 2010 to
mixed reviews, and grossed $215 million worldwide on its big $150
million budget. In July 2010, Parade Magazine listed the film #1 on
its list of "Biggest Box Office Flops of 2010 (So Far).
In 2009, Palmer formed the film production company Avakea
Productions, with Australian actresses Tahyna Tozzi and Nathalie
Kelley. She was a guest judge on MTV Australia, for the Sydney
filmmaking talent contest, Optus one80project. She also filmed an ad
campaign that year for the Australian jean store, Just Jeans, and
became the face and spokesperson for the Jurlique cosmetics company.
In 2011, Palmer starred in the sci-fi adventure film, I Am Number
Four, alongside Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron. She played Number
Six, one of nine aliens hiding out on Earth because her home planet
was destroyed. Her character was skilled in martial arts, rode a
Ducati motorcycle, and could become invisible and walk through fire.
She went through stunt training for the role, learning to perform
flips, sword fight, and do wirework. The film was adapted from a
novel that was the first of a six-part series. Palmer signed on to
do three movies, if the film became a franchise. The film was
released in theatres on February 18, 2011, and was also released in
the IMAX format. It received generally negative reviews from critics
and grossed $149 million worldwide.
Palmer was going to star in Fury Road, a sequel to the Mad Max
series by Australian filmmaker George Miller, but didn't join the
cast due to scheduling conflicts. The film was later postponed.
Palmer starred in the short film Bear, directed by Nash Edgerton,
which competed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
She appeared opposite Joel Edgerton in the independent Australian
drama-thriller, Wish You Were Here, directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith.
The film began shooting in Sydney in November 2010, and premiered at
the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Rotten Tomatoes has currently given
this film an approval rating of 72%.
She also starred in a comedic short, Quirky Girl, for the website
Funny or Die, opposite Aaron Paul.
Palmer starred in the 2013 zombie film, Warm Bodies, produced by
Summit Entertainment, and based on a young adult novel by Isaac
Marion. She played Julie, a human who falls in love with a zombie
(Nicholas Hoult). It was released on February 1, 2013 in the United
States and on February 8, 2013 in the United Kingdom. It opened to
positive reviews and grossed $116 million worldwide. In February
2013, Palmer was announced as the "global face" of Artistry
cosmetics. Palmer then starred in Love and Honour with Liam
Hemsworth, an independent romance filmed in mid-2011 in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. The film is set in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, and
was released in March 2013. It had a limited release on 22 March
2013, receiving negative reviews and only grossed $19 thousand.
In 2014, she co-starred alongside Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson and
Penn Badgley in the romantic drama Parts per Billion. It was
released on video on demand on May 20, 2014, and on home video on
June 6, 2014. It received negative reviews from critics. Palmer had
two films that premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film
Festival, Cut Bank (2014) and Kill Me Three Times (2015). Both films
received negative reviews from critics. She played the love interest
to Liam Hemsworth and Billy Bob Thornton's daughter in Cut Bank and
an assassin in Kill Me Three Times opposite Simon Pegg, Alice Braga
and Luke Hemsworth. The latter film is set to be released in April
10, 2015. She starred with Melissa Leo and Phoebe Tonkin in The Ever
After, directed by her husband Mark Webber. Written by Palmer and
Webber, it is a love story that explores the depths of marriage.
In 2015, she appeared in the Terrence Malick -directed film Knight
of Cups, starring Christian Bale. The film premiered in the main
competition section at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival
in February 2015. Knight of Cups has received mixed reviews from
critics. It holds a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes based on twelve reviews.
The film is scheduled to be released on March 4, 2016, in the United
States by Broad Green Pictures. Palmer had a supporting role in the
2015 remake of Point Break. The film was released in the U.S. on 25
December 2015. It was panned by critics.
In October 2015, it was learned that Palmer would participate in a
short film called Too Legit with Zoe Kravitz, Clark Gregg, Nate
Corddry and Lauren Weedman. This project was confirmed by the
director of the film, Frankie Shaw via Twitter and Instagram and had
its premiere on 23 January 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2016, she played the female lead role in the adaptation of the
Nicholas Sparks novel The Choice, alongside Benjamin Walker, Tom
Welling, Alexandra Daddario, and Tom Wilkinson. The film premiered
on 5 February 2016 and was panned by critics.
On 9 February 2016 Palmer was a guest of Conan O'Brien on the TBS
She will appear alongside Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet and Casey
Affleck in the crime-drama heist film, Triple 9 (2016), directed by
John Hillcoat. It is set for a nationwide release on February 19,
2016. Another of her upcoming films is 2:22 (2016) where she will
star alongside Michiel Huisman and Sam Reid.
She will also co-star in the upcoming film Message from the King
opposite Chadwick Boseman, Luke Evans and Alfred Molina. On 27 June
2015, it was announced that she will star in the upcoming horror
film Lights Out (2016).
Palmer has been the co-number one ticketholder, since 2009, of the
Port Adelaide Football Club, along with Australian television
presenter David Koch. It is a tradition for clubs to recognize a
prominent supporter as the number one ticketholder. Palmer went to
games with the team, she spoke at functions, and performed a
game-beginning coin toss. Palmer has dated former Australian rules
footballer Stuart Dew. She dated her Take Me Home Tonight co-star,
actor Topher Grace, in mid- to late-2007. They reunited in 2009
after she broke up with comedian Russell Brand, and later broke up
again. Palmer dated actor Scott Speedman for a year.
Palmer began dating actor/director Mark Webber in late-2012 after
contacting him via Twitter. They became engaged in August 2013, and
married on 21 December 2013 in Mexico. They have one son together,
Bodhi Rain, born on 17 February 2014. Through her marriage, Palmer
is also a stepmother to Webber's son Isaac Love (born circa 2008),
from Webber's previous relationship with actress Frankie Shaw. The
family resides in the Beachwood Canyon community of Los Angeles. In
November 2012, Palmer and friend Phoebe Tonkin launched the health
and wellness website Your Zen Life.
Palmer is a Christian.