Actress Cate Blanchett is returning to her homeland to make an Australian movie for the first time in eight years - she will star as a former heroin addict in low-budget movie Little Fish.

The Oscar-winning beauty - who appeared in Antipodean film OSCAR AND LUCINDA in 1997 - has not intentionally rejected Australian movie roles for so long.

She says, "It's very odd, this sense that one returns to Australian film-making as if there's a plan to ever leave.

"Because I don't think one's career has a linear progression like that.

"There's no time-scale that one needs to be away and then return; there's a constant exchange and a constant dialogue.

The drama - set in Sydney's western suburbs - is being overseen by acclaimed Chopper director ROWAN WOODS.