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Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais


1/29/1985, Johannesburg, South Africa

Birth Name

Nina Jessica Marais


out of 10
User Rating
28 votes


Jessica Marais, most popular for her role as Rachel Rafter in the Aussie original drama series Packed to the Rafters, has always wanted to become an actress growing up. Originally born in South Africa, Jessica lived with her family in Canada and New Zealand before they settled in…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Jessica: You have to live in the world as well. As an actor you are trying to emulate things that are happening to other people. I think you can become isolated and lose touch with that and your work isn't being infused with the richness that you could be absorbing.

    • Jessica: I come from a family that was really nurturing of the arts. My parents both adored music, film and theatre. So I was brought up with it all around me. That infused my hunger for it.

    • Jessica: Every time I watched a film or saw a great piece of theatre, I yearned to be involved in it.

    • Jessica: As an actor you are looking for a role that allows you to suck the marrow out of life and put it on the screen and Rafters has given me a perfect opportunity to do just that.

    • Jessica: Work is work, regardless of whether it's film, television or theatre. It's the stories, what I'm doing with the work that is most important.

    • Jessica: I was brought up in a family that was really nurturing of the arts. My dad used to adore music and film. So I was brought up with a lot of theatre, stories, film and television around me and an appreciation for it. That infused me with a hunger for it.

    • Jessica: I loved being read aloud to when I was little and I thought that nothing told a story like a good play or a good film.

    • Jessica: (on the effects of acting in her personal life) This industry takes a toll on your personal life, and I'm still learning a lot about how I have to balance that. It's overwhelming! The whole process has been incredibly rewarding.

    • Jessica: (National Institute of Dramatic Art or NIDA was where she studied acting.) I didn't want to come out of NIDA and become a waitress, I want to act. I am so hungry to work I think it would be crazy to turn anything down in my first year of out NIDA.

    • Jessica: (on being dubbed the next Cate Blanchett) I want to be the next Jessica Marais not Cate Blanchett. It detracts from what is unique about you, which is how you get the role.

    • Jessica: I think it's amazing what people can do with film to evoke a response in an audience. I think there's nothing quite like a beautiful soundtrack and beautiful cinematography and amazing editing to get a response from an audience, and that just excites me so much about film. That, as well as the collaborative effort that goes into making a film - I have such a huge respect for the amount of work that goes on.

    • Jessica: I think acting is an apprenticeship craft essentially, especially for film for me because I come from a school where we have had film training, but it is primarily a theatre background, so you absolutely treat it as a huge apprenticeship, and a really awesome experience and an awesome opportunity to watch someone do what they do well, and what they've done for years, refining their craft, while the rest of us are starting out - it's really cool.

    • Jessica: (on having plans of moving to Los Angeles; in a 2009 interview) There are no plans to move there just yet – it's more to have people on the ground over there looking at scripts and seeking out opportunities for me.

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  • Packed to the Rafters Australian television series on Channel 7 and featuring first time television series actress Jessica Marais from Western Australia. A dramatic actress destined to become a household name in Australia and overseasmoreless

    When Packed to the Rafters came onto television screens in Australia in the latter part of this year few would have expected to to become the booming success it is. Recently it topped 2 million viewers for its weekly airing, astonishing figures for a brand new show. Much of its success is its wide appeal to all facets of society and to all ages. Added to the this are the continually strong acting performances from established names but more particularly the astonishingly strong week to week acting of a newcomer to Australian television screens, 23 year old Jessica Marais from Perth, Western Australia. A screen presence that is akin to the young Nicole Kidman in roles like Dead Calm, Marais is widely tipped to follow in the footsteps of Australia's great celluloid names like Kidman, Blanchett, Judy Davis, Naomi Watts and others.moreless