Bold The beau­ti­ful & the

Jodi Gor­don is mak­ing the most of her joy­ous per­sonal and pro­fes­sional life, as Holly Byrnes dis­cov­ers

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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.

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