The pretty 23 year old makes her feature film debut in professional skateboarder Eli Morgan Gesner's new thriller Condemned, which is scheduled for release next month (13Nov15), but she admits she only took on the role to build up her acting credentials for when she steps behind the camera.

"I never thought I would act," she tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "I always thought I would be behind the scenes and I've always wanted to direct and both my parents kind of said, 'If you wanna direct, you have to know what it is to act'."

The familial advice shook shy Dylan up because she feared she didn't have what it takes to be an actress, especially in such a gritty film.

"I met Eli, the director of the film, and it just kind of clicked," she recalls. "I ended up having a really good time, even though it was completely out of my comfort zone."

But the experience hasn't exactly turned her into a film role hunter, adding, "It's not what I'm most passionate about, but it's fun for now."

Penn stars alongside another model-turned-actress in the film, Lydia Hearst, and admits she learned a lot from Gesner, who also wrote the screenplay, especially when it came to "making the actors comfortable and making sure that everybody understands their part".

She explains, "Eli was really great with that, because I was so nervous. I had no idea what I was doing. He was right there, all the time, for all of us."

Dylan will be able to lean on her father when she does find a project to direct - the Oscar winner has impressed as a filmmaker behind the camera on projects like Into The Wild, The Pledge, The Crossing Guard and The Indian Runner.