RECLINING on a cabana lounge in sunglasses and four inch heels, a cocktail by her side as make up artists, stylists and photographer's assistants scramble around her, Rachael Taylor looks every bit the Hollywood starlet.

And then she opens her mouth – and it's straight back to Launceston.

“Ooh, f***!” she exclaims in a thick Aussie accent, pulling her right leg up into an ambitious yoga pose after one hour too long in the makeup chair.

“My accent couldn't be thicker, it just depends who I'm talking to,” she explains, before shouting to her manager “Hey Dave, when did I do the cover of Vogue?” in much the same way as one might ask where the car keys are or if there's any milk left in the fridge.

It's the first hint of what you quickly discover about the 27-year-old Tassie actress most Australians know as “that girl” - that girl from Transformers, that girl in the Bonds advertisements and, perhaps less positively, that girl who was beaten by Matthew Newton.

She's a bit ocker, she swears, she says what she thinks. Meet the real Rachael Taylor.

“I can't remember the last time I even went to a restaurant or a bar,” she says, sitting cross legged on a couch and wrapping her fur coat tight as she sips a cup of tea.

She's in the lobby of one of New York's trendiest hotels, the Maritime in Chelsea, a notorious hangout for celebrities, hipsters and wannabes of both kinds. But though she looks the part in her skinny jeans and patent leather brogues, Taylor insists she's not into “the scene”.

“I don't even know where the scene is,” she laughs.

“Everyone says 'You're in New York, you must be going to amazing restaurants and bars' and it's like, yeah - Friday night I had half a jar of peanut butter and a glass of chardonnay, watched some television and went to bed. And I felt really good about that choice.

“Sometimes you just need to watch a bit of Khloe and Lamar. Track pants, peanut butter, Kardashians – thank you, great.”

The Launceston-born actress and Bonds ambassador, who now lives in Los Angeles, is in New York to film the pilot of 666 Park Avenue, a supernatural TV drama in which she plays the manager of a haunted apartment building.

Although since the recent American ABC reboot of Charlie's Angels, in which she starred as cat burglar Abby Sampson, was cancelled after just four episodes, Taylor's quick to point out that 666 Park Avenue may never actually make it to television.

“I've learned on a couple of different projects now that you don't count your chickens before they've hatched,” she says.

Not that she's bothered by such pitfalls of the industry. Even seeing her face dismantled as Charlie's Angels billboards were taken down all over America didn't faze her: “That was really amusing - I had lots of jokes with my friends about that,” she says.

For Taylor, who recently starred in Any Questions for Ben? with her actor boyfriend Josh Lawson and will soon feature alongside Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet and Prison Break hunk Wentworth Miller in psychological thriller Loft, it's all just part of the job.

“I don't look very far forward these days. I'd love to be on a TV show, I like going to work, but if I'm not I'm just not going to be disappointed,” she says.

“It's not that I don't care - I'm quite ambitious, but I just don't live and die by this job. When I was younger I did. When I was 22 I desperately wanted to be accepted and working and prove that I had a reason to be here. And now I just don't mind if I'm in the club or not.”

She's just as matter-of-fact about her abusive former relationship with actor Matthew Newton, which ended in 2010 after he bashed her in a hotel in Rome, leaving her with facial injuries.

She still has his name tattooed on her right wrist – something she describes as a “complete aberration”, given she's never so much as had her ears pierced.

“I do want to get it removed but every now and again I look down on it and I'm like 'Never, ever again will someone treat me that f***ing way, ever'. And that's quite useful,” she says.

“It makes me very proud of where I've been, in a way.”

It seems the tattoo and the painful memories attached to it are just another reminder of Taylor's past that keep her grounded - like her broad accent, which she says she will never drop.

“Sometimes it's like Australians come overseas and the 'Aussie' gets refined out of us. I don't know what that is and it's never happened to me because I'm really proud of it,” she says.

“I don't have an embarrassment about where I'm from or who I am anymore. I know who I am. I don't fit in everywhere but I know where I do fit in.”

First published in the Sunday Telegraph magazine, cover story, April 8, 2012.