Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents - Photography CAMERON GRAYSON Styling MA­RINA AFONINA Words HOLLY BYRNES

Sigrid Thorn­ton steps out in luxe lay­er­ing.

It seems im­po­lite to men­tion that 34 years have passed since Aussie au­di­ences fell for Sigrid Thorn­ton in her break­through role as the woman who wooed The Man From Snowy River.

Back then, it wasn’t just her tum­bling curls and chem­istry with co-star Tom Burlin­son that ro­manced a na­tion, but Thorn­ton’s self-as­sur­ance on-screen as Jes­sica Har­ri­son, the spir­ited farmer’s daugh­ter who bri­dled against the no­tion that women were there to sim­ply keep the homestead fires burn­ing. It set the tone for a ca­reer that has been

marked by char­ac­ters who show how women can thrive in a man’s world. Mag­is­trate Laura Gib­son in Seachange. Power-suited de­tec­tive Gerry Lloyd in Un­der­belly: The Golden Mile. Steal­ing the show as Judy Gar­land in tele­movie Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door.

Her lat­est role, as ruth­less cy­ber se­cu­rity agent Lara Dixon, con­tin­ues the theme in sea­son 2 of elec­tri­fy­ing ABC drama se­ries The Code; writ­ten by a woman (Shel­ley Birse) in a genre which re­mains, “for bet­ter or worse”, says Thorn­ton, still dom­i­nated by men.

“You could al­most have trans­posed a man into Lara’s shoes, although perhaps they wouldn’t have fit quite so well,” the 57-year-old laughs. “But I of­ten think about the pos­si­bil­i­ties that would arise if you did the op­po­site; if you put a woman in a man’s role in a film or TV se­ries, you wouldn’t have to al­ter much. It’s just about chang­ing peo­ple’s per­cep­tions.”

Cur­rently film­ing her returning role as vil­lain­ous so­cialite So­nia Stevens in fe­male-driven drama Went­worth, the ac­tress is “tremen­dously grate­ful” to be a part of the “Eve-olution” of TV.

“The wheels for more rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women across the board are turn­ing slowly, but they are turn­ing in the right di­rec­tion and that’s very en­cour­ag­ing,” she says. “It opens up the world of film, TV and theatre in all sorts of ways, which is go­ing to be very ex­cit­ing.” The Code, 8.30pm, Thurs­days, on ABC.

´´if you put a woman in a man´s role, you would not have to al­ter much ´´

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Jac­que­mus top, $447, net-a-porter.com; Coun­try Road T-shirt, $79.95, coun­try­road.com.au; Acler dress, $650, acler. com.au; San­dro Paris jeans, $420, (02) 9327 3377; Tiffany & Co. neck­lace, POA, 1800 731 131 HAIR: Kim Tavares MAKE-UP: Amy Kenny

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