Keisha Castle-Hughes has bounced back from recent personal problems by landing a starring role in a United States sci-fi television pilot.

The Oscar-nominated actress will take the role of Priya in the two-hour pilot for time-travel programme Rewind.

The plot features a team of scientists and military operatives who use technology to go back in time in order to change the future and avoid a terrorist attack.

Castle-Hughes' character is a "behavioral anthropologist who provides analytical context to the project and the missions, and whose knowledge of history extends beyond the boundaries of fact", Hollywood website reported.


Production on the pilot starts this month. Castle-Hughes' agent, Gail Cowan, said she was confirmed for the role a week ago and had already left for shooting in Canada.

She was "thrilled to pieces" to have landed the pilot, Ms Cowan said. "It has a sterling cast, an excellent production company and Toronto is a superb location."

The pilot will be shopped around to networks but Ms Cowan said "just breaking out of New Zealand and into the US market is a huge bonus".

Castle-Hughes' personal life has made headlines recently.

The Whale Rider star's on-off partner Michael Graves - a part-time hip hop MC she met in 2010 - was charged last month with assaulting her after an Oscars function in Auckland. And in March last year, Castle-Hughes was taken away in handcuffs from a central Auckland nightclub after a fight.