Dynamic Australian Actress Delivered ‘a significant amount of drama’ on the Venerable soap opera ‘Home and Away’

Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015
Jessie McLachlan

Arriving as one of today’s finest actresses, Jessie McLachlan has delivered outstanding character portrayals in film and television over the last decade. The Australian native played Anna in Tom Simes’ feature drama, “Run, Broken Yet Brave” and Rachel in the FilmOut Festival Award winning feature drama, “Newcastle,” written and directed by Dan Castle.

She starred as Monica in Antonio Oreña-Barlin’s short drama, “Suburbia,” that was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award, and has dispatched her talents to TV including in Village Roadshow’s reality series “The Shire,” 7 Network’s (Australia) 13-time award-winning comedy drama “Packed to the Rafters” and Nickelodeon’s 12-time award-winning family drama, “Dance Academy.”

Chief among McLachlan’s flourishing acting career was her 27-episode recurring performance as Samantha Braxton on 7 Network’s romantic drama, “Home and Away.” Created by Alan Bateman, the series has collected more than 40 awards and has broadcast since 1988.

“I’m really proud I got to be a part of it, in some way,” McLachlan said. “I’m proud of the Australian industry, and it is a testament that a show has been running for so long.”

“Home and Away” follows the lives, loves and heartbreaks within the fictitious coastal town of Summer Bay, in New South Wales, Australia.

The role challenged McLachlan to carry out the antagonistic, Samantha, who was a troubled member of one of Summer Bay’s surfing gangs. An aggressor, Samantha was a character best known for creating conflict, and one opposite of McLachlan’s own persona.

“It is the beauty of acting morphing into a completely different person, whom is definitely not like myself,” said McLachlan. “It is always a challenge playing a character whom is a complete opposite to you, and the way in which you conduct yourself in life. I always like to reflect on a personal experience, and encapsulate that raw emotion and feeling I had and use it in a performance to make it as authentic as I can, but with this character I was very challenged in the beginning in learning to be angry at everything and everyone.”

Starring as Samantha in the series from 2010-2011, McLachlan said of the character, “It is hard enough to be a teenager now days let alone have hardship or social issue’s amongst your family to overcome. I think at heart she is good, but when your family has a blurred line between what is right and wrong, she was easily influenced.”

Australian Actress Christina Collard (“Dracula: The Impaler,” “The Girl’s Guide to Depravity”) recognized McLachlan’s dynamic acting in “Home and Away.”

“The role required an incredibly dynamic actress, as Samantha’s presence and demeanor caused a significant amount of drama throughout Jessie’s time as a leading actress on the series,” she said. “Her presence was felt in scenes that she did not even appear in, which is a huge accomplishment that further evidences Jessie’s many talents as an actress. Her character was the talk among critics and dedicated viewers alike, and has been hailed as one of the more memorable characters in the recent history of this long running series.”

“Home and Away” currently is the second longest running dramatic series in Australian television history. Sold to more than 80 countries, it has drawn huge audiences in locations such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand. The show is the most successful program in Logie Award history.

Of her favorite single portrayal, McLachlan says, “The first episode of a new season will always be my favorite of any show. It is when some questions that I’ve waited for a few months are finally answered, but also then all these new story lines are revealed, and the show becomes so juicy and the curiosity makes you tune in or binge watch it.”

Developing her talent early in life, McLachlan started speech and theatre lessons and became a National Irish Dancer when she was just 7 years old. “Every time I performed, from an audition or in front of my Grandma, it gave me a sense of euphoria, a high but a certainty feeling.”

Her talent and passion for performing hasn’t gone unnoticed in the industry as McLachlan went on to work for shows televised by MTV, ABC and Australia’s 9 Network. A do-it-all talent, McLachlan also was signed as a singer/songwriter to Island Def Jam.

She’s trained at the renowned Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler acting institutions in New York and Los Angeles, and studies the craft with the acclaimed acting coach Michelle Danner, who has worked with many A-list talents such as Chris Rock, Gerard Butler, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Rodriguez and more.

For more information, visit: http://jessiemclachlan.com and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6682925/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1







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