Although a career as an actress may seem unusual for a girl who grew up in a house without a television or radio, what may seem to be a negative in inspiring a cinematic career was actually a blessing in disguise for Peta Wilson. Entertaining her family for hours on end by staging musical shows and lip-synching to Neil Diamond records gave the budding young actress a solid foundation for entertaining.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Wilson spent a large portion of her childhood in the wilds of Papua New Guinea. Educated at an all-girls Catholic School in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Wilson turned to athletics as a means to stay out of trouble, though her mother enrolled her into deportment classes in attempts to discourage the more tomboyish traits that accompanied Wilson's fondness for sports. It was during these courses that Wilson was spotted by a modeling agent who encouraged her to consider a career on the catwalk. Traveling Europe in the following years as a successful model, Wilson soon began to nurture her affection for acting, prompting the aspiring actress' 1991 move to L.A.
Studying at the Actors Circle Theater in L.A. under the tutelage of Arthur Mendoza, Wilson began to get small roles in such independent films as Loser (1996), and set her television career into motion with an appearance on the HBO series Strangers. Shortly before her departure for New York in 1996 to continue her studies in theater, Wilson's agent persuaded her to audition for the television series La Femme Nikita -- a happy coincidence that resulted in Wilson's casting as the title character in the USA series based on Luc Besson's Nikita (1990).
Soon appearing in such films as One of Our Own (1998) and Mercy (2000), Wilson would eventually make it to New York for her role in A Girl Thing (2001).