• Mark Coles Smith (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Mark Coles Smith has been named one of Australia’s top emerging stars in a new entertainment list.
NITV Staff Writer

27 Nov 2015 - 10:43 AM  UPDATED 27 Nov 2015 - 11:02 AM

Indigenous actor Mark Coles Smith, who hails from Fitzroy River, NT, features in a new list of the country's top 10 actors from the Casting Guild of Australia.

He and Looking for Grace's Odessa Young were recognised as stand outs for 2015 and were presented with the inaugural Sirius Award.

"Mark and Odessa were the stand-outs on the list of the next big things"

CGA president Greg Apps said both artists had come so far in the past 12 months. "Mark and Odessa were the stand-outs on the list of the next big things, actors whose careers will pop overseas in the very near future," Mr Apps told Forbes. "These two epitomise where we think the other people will be going."

The US will be introduced to Coles Smith in April when he’ll appear on sci-fi series Hunters on the Syfy channel.

Back home, Mark Coles Smith is set to feature in Screen NSW's Last Cab to Darwin as Tilly, which has earned him a 2015 AACTA Awards nomination.

Mark Coles Smith on his latest role: Determination is more important than fear
Actor Mark Coles Smith talks to Screen NSW about his challenges playing Tilly in Last Cab to Darwin, which earned him a 2015 AACTA Awards nomination, experience on Modern Family and learning from screen legends Michael Caton and Jacki Weaver.

Playing Tilly was a steep learning curve, he told Screen NSW in November. "In the end, the challenge I inherited in representing a young man from another region and language group was not to do with how a wider audience might receive the portrayal,” he said, “but more personally, whether or not I could feel my representation respected the circumstances of that appropriation in the opinion of the Arabana people."

Coles Smith is well known to NITV audiences in his role as an Aboriginal doctor on a reservation (Indigenous reserves in Canada) in Hard Rock Medical.

"I don’t think I ever wanted to be an actor, I think I always was an actor," Coles Smith told NITV's Around the Traps during a visit to the studios in 2014.

"From a very young age I can remember watching TV shows and it wasn't enough to just watch the show, I had to go out in the yard and spend four hours being the characters I’d just seen."

He has also played in SBS police drama The Circuit.

Other actors who made the list include Abbey Lee, Alexander England, Andrea Demetriades, Rahel Romahn, Benedict Hardie, Thomas Cocquerel, Olivia de Jonge and Zahra Newman.