She is one of three females in this year’s Gold Logie Pack, but how exactly did Jessica Marais get to become a household name?
After graduating NIDA in 2007, Jessica first graced our screens in 2008 as the loveable Rachel Rafter in Seven’s Packed To The Rafters. The show was an instant success, reaching up to two million views a week in its first season.
The following year, Jessica starred in her first feature film Two Fist One Heart as Kate. She also graced US screens in The Legend of the Seeker as Donna for four episodes, and continued in her role on Rafters. At her first Logie Awards, she picked up the award for Most Popular New Female Talent, and won the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent.
Jessica continued to work on Rafters until 2011, and in that time picked up Logie nominations for Best Actress in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but she was unsuccessful. The role also gave her a shot a Gold in 2011, but it wasn’t to be.
Her post-Rafters career saw Jess move to the US to work on the Straz drama series Magic City alongside big names including Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Olga Kurylenko for two years. Before Rafters ended in 2013, Jess found time to film two guest spots in the show, most notably in the series final.
Jess returned to Australia in 2014 to play Carlotta in the ABC telemovie of the same name, based on the extraordinary life of the iconic Les Girls headliner and Australian transgender pioneer. Later that year, she was cast as Dr Joan Miller in Love Child, which follows the lives of the staff and residents of the fictional Kings Cross Hospital and Stanton House in Sydney in 1969.
In 2015, Jess was nominated for Most Popular Actress and Most Outstanding Actress Logies, but she was once again unsuccessful. She continued her role as Joan for a second season of Love Child.
In 2016 year she picked up her first Best Actress Logie for her role as Joan. She was also cast in the new drama series The Wrong Girl, based on the book by Zoe Foster Blake, playing 29-year-old Lily Woodward as she navigates her life and all that entails.
In 2017 Jess was once again pulling double duty on our screens as undertook the roles of Joan in Love Child and Lilly in the Wrong Girl for the final seasons of both shows. Jess was nominated and rewarded with a second Best actress Silver Logie. She was once again nominated for a Most Outstanding Actress and a second shot at a gold Logie but remained unsuccessful.
Tomorrow night Jess has a chance at getting a third most popular/best actress in a row as well as her first Gold Logie.