Bold The beautiful & the
Jodi Gordon is making the most of her joyous personal and professional life, as Holly Byrnes discovers
THE make-up artist is applying Jodi Gordon’s ‘‘ strong lip’’, a slick of tangerine lipstick that instantly electrifies the former model’s face and gets coos of approval from her styling team.
It’s a bold choice, but Gordon has been making a few of those lately, in life and on television.
Her only accessory today is a blinding diamond engagement ring, designed by the actor’s NRL-playing fiance, Braith Anasta, whom she will wed next month.
Happily sharing the details of her recent ‘‘ conservative’’ hen’s night — a chic dinner hosted by Gordon’s closest girlfriends — the big day clearly can’t come soon enough for this small-screen darling and one-time party girl.
It’s also a happy time professionally for the Home and Away alum, revelling in the positive reviews she’s garnered playing no-nonsense police media publicist Kylie Keogh in Channel 9’s true crime drama Underbelly: Badness.
Gordon has yet to meet the gregarious Keogh, but has certainly captured the former journalist’s sense of fun.
‘‘ They have glammed her up a lot,’’ the bubbly brunette says.
Tossing her glossy locks about to prove her point, she
It’s a long way from Summer Bay, that’s for sure
adds: ‘‘ Kylie’s all hair in this.’’ The Keogh character provides the light in this dark Australian story.
Reading for the part, the 27-year-old admits being terrified by the murderous tale of Sydney crime boss Anthony Perish and the dogged police mission that took a decade to catch him.
‘‘ In the first script, you read (victim Terry Falconer) is getting his teeth pulled out and his body parts chopped up, so it was quite scary. It’s a long way from Summer Bay, that’s for sure,’’ she says, giggling. ‘‘ But I like things that scare me. I think we do family drama and that kind of storytelling really well on Australian television, but to have something like this I think is good. We need the nitty-gritty stuff and Underbelly does it best.’’
Graduating to serious drama was a conscious part of Gordon’s continuing education as an actor, having been schooled on the Channel 7 soap she joined in 2004.
It was a baptism of fire for the clotheshorse, who had been preparing to move to New York for a fashion career when she auditioned and won the role of Martha MacKenzie.
‘‘ I basically threw myself into it and learned as I went along. If it wasn’t for Home and Away, I wouldn’t be here or have this amazing passion for acting.’’
Working alongside Matt Nable, who plays detective Gary Jubelin, proved both an artistic and sporting exchange.
His no-nonsense manner also appealed: ‘‘ He turns up to work, does his job and that’s it. There’s no bulls---, none of this la-de-da stuff, and I love that.
‘‘ We had an instant connection and talked a lot of footy. It was funny; I’d get to work and he’d be like, ‘ How about the game on the weekend, Gordon?’ I learned a lot from him as well — seeing the way he works, approaches different scenes and understood his character. It was all such an education for me.’’
Underbelly was another ‘‘ step up’’ from her last supporting role in Nine’s controversial telemovie Blood Brothers, which documented the real jailing of Jeffrey Gilham for the killings of his parents and brother, Christopher. He has since been freed.
‘‘ You’re working with the best actors, directors, producers, the crew, the writers. It really is a step up and that way it was a little bit intimidating. I was like a parrot asking so many questions, but you’ve got to know your stuff, turn up on the day, do your best work and learn from it if you make mistakes.’’
The bride-to-be is taking the same live-and-learn faith into her marriage, having made a pact with Anasta to follow their goals wherever it takes them.
After the honeymoon, Anasta returns to join a new club, the Wests Tigers, while Gordon will be on the hunt for work, both here or overseas.
‘‘ If an opportunity does come up we just support each other. If I have to go overseas, we’ll manage it. At the end of the day we both want each other to be happy and we both want to be successful. That’s what a marriage is all about anyway.’’ Underbelly: Badness, season final, Channel 9, Monday, 8.30pm says his mum and teenage sister have been helping him work on his moves for the series. ‘‘I know has become known for its nudity and violence but none of it is gratuitous here,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s very much part of the story. Nudity has never been something that I’ve been too concerned about anyway. If it’s important to the role, then I’m OK with it. ‘‘It’s part of the job, really.’’ Daperis says he is ecstatic to score the leading role in such a high profile series. ‘‘I’m really excited to be part of Underbelly. There’s no franchise like it anywhere else in the world.’’
From left: Susie Porter, Elise Jansen, Jared Daperis, Camille Keenan and Grace Gilbert star in the latest Underbelly.