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"She took my hand and told me to be calm, because I was so terrified": Jessica Marais on her very first experience at the TV WEEK Logie Awards

The iconic Aussie actress gets candid about her early years.

By Kietley Isrin
When Jessica Marais walks the red carpet at the TV WEEK Logie Awards, it's a moment that almost takes your breath away. The 35-year-old actress is always the epitome
of elegance and grace.
But while Jessica is a natural in front of the lights and cameras, she still remembers the days when the experience was all brand new.
"I was so excited to be at the Logies – but I was nervous," Jessica recalled to TV WEEK in 2018 as she spoke about her first trip down the red carpet 11 years ago.
"I remember looking around and seeing all these amazing actors and producers – it was so surreal."
At the time, Jessica was starring as the sassy, creative and clever Rachel Rafter in Channel Seven's hit drama Packed To The Rafters.
Rebecca Gibney and Erik Thomson portrayed her on-screen parents, Julie and Dave.
"It was such a wonderful time," Jessica reflects of the Rafters years, from 2008 to 2013.
"We were a real family."
In fact, it was her Rafters mum who helped the young actress overcome her jitters when she was named Most Popular New Female Talent and Most Outstanding New Talent in 2009, beating then Neighbours star Margot Robbie.
Jessica Marais has seen whirlwind success on Australian screens.
"It was Rebecca who took my hand and told me to be calm, because I was so terrified," Jessica remembers.
Since then, she's proved her ability with performances in both Network Nine drama Love Child and Network Ten's The Wrong Girl.
"I was lucky," Jessica says of landing the roles.
"I never really struggled to break into the industry. But I've worked hard to get to where I am now – and I love playing characters who are strong and incredibly human."
It's certainly paid off. In 2016, Jessica won the Logie for Most Popular Actress for her portrayal of nurse Joan Millar in period drama Love Child.
She then took home the same award the following year for Love Child and The Wrong Girl, in which she played TV producer Lily Woodward.
But that was only the beginning.
In 2018, she became a Gold Logie nominee, the only woman in a field that included Peter Helliar (The Project) Grant Denyer (Family Feud) Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor) Samuel Johnson (Molly) and Waleed Aly (The Project).
"It really was such an honour," Jessica enthuses. "I wasn't expecting it at all."
Jess won the Most Popular Actress Award at the 2016 Logies for her portrayal of nurse Joan Millar in period drama Love Child.
That year, it was actor and cancer crusader Samuel Johnson who took home the top gong. The 40-year-old – honoured for his uncanny portrayal of Australian music-industry legend Molly Meldrum – used his platform to shine a light on his fight to cure cancer and his charity, Love Your Sister.
So, has Jessica thought about what she might like to bring to the fore should she too win a Gold Logie one day?
"There are so many things and issues I'm passionate about," she says. "I don't think they'd give me enough time to list them all on stage!
"But should the time come, I'll do my best to get my message across."
Over the past nine years, not only has Jessica become a regular Logie nominee, but one to watch on the red carpet.
Her beauty and style seem to astonish wherever she goes.
"I've loved all my outfits," the star says of her fashion moments over the years.
"I can't take the credit for them, though, because I have a very good team that helps put me together."
And apart from the accolades and fashion, is there anything else Jessica loves about the Logies?
"I still get starstruck," Jessica reveals.
"I remember bumping into Delta Goodrem a few years ago and was so excited. I love Delta, and there she was right in front of me. It was amazing!"
WATCH: Why Aussies love Jessica Marais:

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