Shelley Conn has confessed she’s feeling daunted by the prospect of commuting from Britain to Australia if Steven Spielberg’s new TV project is a hit.

The Mistresses star was handpicked by the director to appear in his new sci-fi drama Terra Nova, and if the pilot is a success when it screens next month she will have to film the series on location in Australia.

Shelley said: “Yeah, that’s a kind of crazy way of looking at it, but it’s exactly that, it’s commuting to Australia. It’s a concept I’m still trying to get my head around. It’s a long way away, but it’s also a nice place to be.”

The show is about a family who are sent back in time 85 million years from an apocalyptic 2149, to join a colony trying to give civilisation a second chance.

Shelley, whose actor boyfriend Jonathan Kerrigan lives in Britain, admits there are downsides to choosing a career in acting.

She said: “It comes with its compromises, you do have a bit of a nomadic life, and it takes its toll – I feel like I’ve missed so many family occasions and I miss my partner terribly, but you make up for it.

“You travel, and that’s a privilege to be able to see as much of the world as I have. I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for the job. And I think it’s quite nice if you get to miss people, it makes it more special when you do see them.”

Shelley is currently starring in Marchlands, a ghost story following different families living in the same house in the 1960s, 1980s and present day which screens on Thursdays on ITV1.

Watch a trailer for Terra Nova: