You may not have heard of her but Ione Butler, who grew up in Heston, is familiar to millions of online gamers as the face of Ingress.

She plays Susanna Moyer on the Ingress Report, a series of weekly videos accompanying the game which has been installed by more than seven million players across the globe.

Created by Niantic Labs for Google, Ingress challenges participants to use their mobile phones to track down sources of a 'mysterious energy' threatening to brainwash mankind.

Players are encouraged to team up to document these energy portals, hidden at locations in the physical world, in an effort to save humanity.

Such is the game's popularity, there have been reports of players getting arrested for loitering with their phones by portals close to sensitive locations like police stations.

Ione Butler as Susanna Moyer on the Ingress Report
 

Ms Butler, who attended Heston Community School but now lives in LA, plays a reporter updating players on their progress in the Ingress Report.

More than 360,000 people watched the first episode of the weekly series on YouTube and the short videos regularly attract 30,000 to 40,000 viewers.

When getwestlondon caught up with the 28-year-old, she was at LAX airport on her way to Seattle to cover the finale of a series of events called #Helios.

"At the event there will be around 1,000 players or agents as we call them and I'll follow them around the city as they play, report on what's going on, announce the winners at the end and sign autographs. It is a long day but it is so much fun," she said.

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As well as Seattle, the game has taken her to cities across the US and to the Comic-Con conventions in San Diego and London. So what's it like being a celebrity in the sci-fi community?

"I really enjoy interacting with the players and getting to meet them. Ingress is a community of really great people and they are so friendly and welcoming when I go to events," she says.

"The feedback I get is that they love it, they love the social aspect and they love exploring and seeing what is around them.

"Ingress is something you play on your phone but you have to move around to play. It means people are not sat behind a computer, they have to go out and work with other people to do well at it."

Ione Butler said she loves meeting fans of the game Ingress and signing autographs
 

Such is the dedication of players, she has heard of people chartering planes, taking to speedboats and climbing mountains in pursuit of new portals.

Hardcore fans have been known to get Ingress tattoos, she adds, and the game has fostered countless friendships and even proved the virtual meeting ground for future husbands and wives.

As for tales of people getting arrested, she says she hasn't heard much about that, adding 'I don’t report on that! People need to use their common sense'.

Ms Butler herself is a player but says she doesn't publicise the fact as her character is unbiased and she doesn't want people to know which of the two teams she is an 'agent' for.

The Ingress Report may take up the bulk of her time, but the keen hiker has also appeared in a number of short films and TV pilots since moving to LA.

Her most recent role was in The Genesis, a short sci-fi film sponsored by Hyundai in which she is rescued by her on-screen husband from the clutches of a shady corporation.

She developed her love of acting at Heston Community School, where she appeared in plays including Oliver! and Little Shop of Horrors.

While still at school she studied drama at Watermans arts centre in Brentford, where she says her tutor (whose name escapes her) 'had so much patience and made acting a lot of fun'.

Ione Butler grew up in Heston but is now a successful actress in LA
 

She went on to study at The Brit School, where fellow alumni include Adele and Amy Winehouse, and the drama school Rose Bruford College, of which Gary Oldman is a graduate.

She moved to LA two years ago and was this year named as a participant in BAFTA's LA Newcomers Program, a mentoring scheme to help entertainment professionals from the UK settle in the US.

She has fond memories of Heston, which she describes as 'a great town for culture and diversity', and of nearby Osterley Park and Richmond Green, where she recalls spending vast chunks of her summers as a child.

Although she has acclimatised well to life on America's west coast, she says she misses 'M&S, beer gardens in the summer and my friends and family'. She also says there is nothing there which compares to the amazing curries she used to enjoy in Southall.

As for the future, she says it is her dream to one day work with the Australian actress Cate Blanchett or the directors Steve McQueen and Quentin Tarantino.

"I think Cate Blanchett is an incredible actress, I was lucky enough to interview her at a BAFTA event recently," she said.

"Steve McQueen makes great, poignant movies and I'd love to work with Quentin Tarantino because his work is so different and I'd love the challenge. There are so many people I admire and want to work with."