Ward joins the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides

Australian model Gemma Ward has won a role in “Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides”, The Courier Mail reports today.

Ward, who appeared in the acclaimed Aussie film “The Black Balloon” but is best known for her many performances on the catwalk, will play a mermaid in the Blockbuster Disney prequel.

“Gemma’s focus is definitely on acting,” a friend of the model cum actress tells the paper. “She’s spent the past year studying the craft full time in New York.”

It’s believed Ward’s part is only a small role.

Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane star in director Rob Marshall’s “Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End”, in theaters 2012.