BY THE SWORD

GOLD COAST AC­TOR JESS GREEN’S FIGHT­ING FIT FOR NEW FAN­TASY SE­RIES

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DENISE RAWARD

There’s some­thing oth­er­worldly about Jess Green, the Gold Coast girl touted as Hol­ly­wood’s next big thing.

Per­haps it’s her trade­mark Arctic blue eyes or her al­most su­per­hu­man ath­letic grace. It can be no co­in­ci­dence her first act­ing gig was play­ing an alien surfer and, now, she’s the lone sur­vivor of a lost race with su­per­nat­u­ral pow­ers.

Jess, 25, is the star of the new Amer­i­can fan­tasy ad­venture se­ries, The Out­post, which has pre­miered around the world on cable net­works Syfy and The CW.

But she is still pinch­ing her­self that some­one ac­tu­ally watched her au­di­tion tape.

“I’d sent so many self tapes and got hun­dreds of nos,” she says. “I was al­ways a bit scep­ti­cal of it. I’d think do they re­ally watch th­ese tapes? But they do.”

“Self tapes” are now in­dus­try stan­dard for first round cast­ing calls. Ac­tors film them­selves on iPhones de­liv­er­ing their lines against a blank wall and email it off.

That was how Green landed the prized role of Talon, the fierce hero­ine on a quest for re­venge, trav­el­ling to a law­less out­post at the edge of the civilised world.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s told she’s needed at the edge of the world, in Utah, to start pre-pro­duc­tion? She brushes up on her weapons train­ing – sticks and swords that is – and throws in a few wool­lies be­cause it’s cold in Utah in Jan­u­ary.

“I just jumped into it,” Jess says. “I didn’t re­ally get a lot of no­tice but I tried to be as pre­pared as I could to do my own stunts. It’s some­thing I’ve al­ways wanted to do.”

It helps that Jess is no slouch in the ath­letic de­part­ment. She at­tended Palm Beach Cur­rumbin High School on a track and field schol­ar­ship and, grow­ing up, played sport nearly ev­ery day of the week – rugby, touch footy, nip­pers, ac­ro­bat­ics and dance. She’s also pretty handy on a surf board.

“I was such a tomboy,” she laughs. “I’ve got an older brother and I was al­ways very com­pet­i­tive with him. We still like to be com­pet­i­tive in lit­tle things. It’s made me the per­son who I am to­day.”

Jess was al­ways “the tall girl”, the one who stood head and shoul­ders above ev­ery­one in the Year 7 class photo. Her mum en­tered Jess into a mod­el­ling com­pe­ti­tion at 13 and she won it.

Later she was a state fi­nal­ist in the pres­tige Girl­friend Model Search where she was signed up with a big­ger agency that pro­pelled her mod­el­ling ca­reer. She has mod­elled for brands in­clud­ing Bil­l­abong, Lorna Jane and David Jones.

At 17, her agency sent her to an au­di­tion for a tele­vi­sion se­ries. “I thought why am I go­ing for this?” she says. “I thought they’d put me on hold straight away.”

But the pro­duc­ers liked what they saw and Jess was coached four hours a day to take a lead role in Light­ning Point, filmed on the Gold Coast and re­leased in­ter­na­tion­ally as Alien Surf Girls in 2012. Jess had the surf­ing cov­ered but also had to master horse rid­ing for the role.

“I thought this is what I want to do,” Jess says. “It’s the best job in the world. I get to do things I would never do. I ab­so­lutely loved it. I just fell in love with it all.”

Jess fol­lowed it up with a role in the Aus­tralian ac­tion thriller Red Bil­l­abong and had a small “blink and you miss it” role in Pi­rates of the Car­ribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, filmed on the Gold Coast.

But the role of Talon is her big break. “When the part came up, I thought this is my dream role but you try not to get your hopes up – you get so many re­jec­tions,” Jess says.

“The film­ing was hec­tic, re­ally long days and full on, but I loved ev­ery sec­ond of it.”

Gold Coast ac­tor Jess Green in new Amer­i­can ad­venture se­ries The Out­post.

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