Keala Settle's meteoric rise in Hollywood takes her to the Oscars stage

Keala Settle hasn't set foot on home Kiwi turf for eight years, but make no mistake - this Tony-nominated Broadway star now movie star is Kiwi-as, bro.

Newshub spoke to Settle ahead of her Sydney red carpet premiere of The Greatest Showman late 2017, two months on the musical is still in the top five box office in NZ.

The song she belts out in the film has since won the Golden Globe for Best Song, and is frontrunner to win the Oscar on Monday.

'This is Me' has become somewhat of a global anthem and hits just the right note for millions of fans. Covers of it have flooded YouTube from all over the world, including one rousing rendition from south Auckland AUT students.

Clearly it's an emotional song just to listen to, singing it even more so.

"I have yet to this day to get through it," Ms Settle said.

I was just upstairs watching videos of people, kids and young adults doing covers of the song, and I can't get past the first 15, 20 seconds and I'm in tears."

One recording from her first workshop of the song made before the film was even green-lit had over 12.5 million views at last count. At that point, she didn't even know she'd been cast.

"With a little bit of help, and little bit of nudging and with a lot of support I did it, never thinking at all that I would be in the film," she said.

"It's overwhelming, you just don't know, we don't know what kind of impact we make on each other until it actually happens and then you realise just how close we all are as individuals."

Even the greatest showman himself, Hugh Jackman, was blown away.

"It's so rare in Hollywood that genuine talent wins out, and in her case talent won out."

Now Settle is everywhere - she's performed on Graham Norton, she's performed for Ellen and come Monday she's set to perform at the Oscars ceremony.


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