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Madonna auditioned Abbie Cornish via Skype

Madonna used modern technology to audition stars for her new period movie W.E. - she signed actress Abbie Cornish up for the film after a Skype chat.

Madonna wanted to speak with the Aussie before she offered her a role in the project, which she wrote and directed - but the pop star was in New York and Abbie Cornish was Down Under.

The actress recalls, "We had a Skype meeting from my mum's office. It was an interesting moment in my life... Three hours later, I got a phone call that I got the gig."

Abbie Cornish tells USA Today she thinks her cool, calm demeanour helped her land the role - and it helped that she had 24 hours to get her nerves out of the way.

She explains, "I was 24 hours early to my meeting because Australia is a day ahead. The meeting was Wednesday at 1pm. I was there Wednesday at 1pm. It took a little while until I realised that I was a day early. I got a lot of the nerves out of the way."