THE LAST WORD... ‘ ’ I turned 30 and de­cided to just not give a s**t any more … which is em­pow­er­ing

WITH MELISSA BER­G­LAND, JENNY GROSS

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD... - WithDeb­bieSchipp

“I WORKED in re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity be­fore I got the role of Jenny, but when I talk about that I get this bar­rage of abuse from peo­ple who work in re­tail or hos­pi­tal­ity say­ing, ‘With­out those jobs you wouldn’t be where you are’.

So I want to clar­ify it’s not a re­flec­tion on those jobs. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s just I hap­pened to work with a***holes (laughs).

Jenny has grown up a lot in five years. She was lit­er­ally a very in­ex­pe­ri­enced vir­gin still liv­ing with her par­ents. Now she’s found drive and a ca­reer she is pas­sion­ate about, she’s got a man who treats her well and she’s done with be­ing used. She’s tougher. She’s learn­ing to speak up for her­self.

I turned 30 re­cently and de­cided to just not give a s**t any more, which is em­pow­er­ing – just culling some things from my life that no longer serve me, loos­en­ing re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple that I find de­struc­tive or are just energy suck­ers, learn­ing to say no. Maybe I’ve learned that from Jenny.

I felt like I struck gold (work­ing with close friends and co-stars Mel Vallejo and Vir­ginia Gay). Now (hav­ing worked on other projects) I’m start­ing to think peo­ple have the wrong ideas about ac­tors be­cause I’ve not met one a***hole among them.

Mu­sic came first for me. I started pi­ano at four. Af­ter my fa­ther passed away (Mel was 14), Mum took me on a cruise and there was this karaoke jazz bar thing and I sang, and my mum was like, ‘Oh my God … that’s some­thing that needs to be fos­tered’.

I do get over be­ing asked about be­ing a curvy woman on TV, be­cause I feel like it doesn’t need to be a thing any more. If we keep talk­ing about it, then it’s a thing. I’m aware of what I look like. In July I tweeted: ‘Can we please stop us­ing the phrase real women. Yes, some women are gor­geous and nat­u­rally thin, they are not made of poly­styrene.’

No­body has spo­ken about Jenny’s size on the show. It’s not af­fected her abil­ity to get men, her abil­ity to dress nicely, to look good, get a good job. None of that has been an is­sue.

She didn’t talk about it and her friends didn’t love her any less and no­body said to her, ‘I’m just wor­ried about your health’. Like f *** health. I can run 5km, can you?

If I dropped 20kg for a role, or be­cause I wanted to I’d be a traitor and have peo­ple turn on me, and then I’d say the same thing: ‘Stop mak­ing a big deal’.” WIN­NERS & LOSERS TUES­DAY, 8.30PM, SEVEN

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