Last week Summer Bay’s femme fatales returned. Amanda the petite blonde bombshell and Jazz the stunning leggy brunette!
While their looks are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, they have both reigned as super-b****** and were fighting for supremacy. Their encounter turned into a cat fight, as they attempted to support Leah through Dan’s memorial. They hissed and spat and then ‘shockingly’ slapped each other across face!
"I had actually never met Holly before, but we both got on SO well," laughed Rachel Gordon, who plays Jazz Curtis. "We are both girls from Queensland and we were laughing our heads off, it was so ridiculous trying to keep a straight face doing those scenes. We had a really good time, she’s a lovely girl and we are both very different from the characters we play," she assured me.
Playing the vixen is fun for Rachel. Her last character was the very straight detective, Amy Fox, in the long running series Blue Heelers.
"It’s good to play a character that’s feminine and has a bit of fun," she explained. "Also, I really like Jazz, initially she was just a full on b**** but over a period of time, a lot more complexity has evolved in her and it’s interesting to play a character that's trying to do the right thing but always, kind of, getting it really wrong, it’s been fun.”
It also hasn’t been too tough wearing all those beautiful clothes.
"I loooove it, yeah I really like it, it’s fun being a girl and wearing high heals," She grinned.
"If I’m in the country back home, I’m in jeans and cowboy boots running around the garden being a warrior woman, but I do love wearing my dresses, so I’m either girly or cow-girl," she laughs.
Jazz and Drew have a very tempestuous relationship, not exactly the ideal mother and child bond.
"Ahhh yes he’s my baby, I love him," says Rachel of Bobby Morely who plays Drew. "Jazz doesn’t really have many good qualities as a mother, but I think one of the most important qualities of all is to be loving, kids can forgive a lot if they feel loved, and also to be consistent, I mean Jazz is very inconsistent with her behaviour towards Drew. And to make kids feel valued is important,” she reflected.
One of the best pieces of advice Rachel has been given is to be 'kind'.
"It’s good to be kind. I am big fan of the Dalai Lama and he talks about kindness and compassion all the time. My friend’s band was playing at the 'One Earth' concert and he came backstage. It was just amazing to see him walk in the room and everyone’s face just light up. He’s a beautiful man, a living saint."
Everyone on Home and Away has a special affection for it and enjoy the experience, including Rachel.
“What I love most are the people because everyone is vibrant and enthusiastic, there’s an energy about the place, everyone’s excited to be working on the show, which is really great. In this industry you often come across people who are a little bit jaded, but there’s a really fresh energy and everyone is very supportive and you’re working at beautiful Palm Beach a lot of the time. I’ve really enjoyed the people I’ve had a lot of contact with, Jon Sivewright, Bobby, Jess Tovey, it’s been really, really good.”
Outside the Bay, Rachel is a tireless campaigner for the environment. She was trained by Al Gore last year in an initiative called ‘The Climate Project’ through the Australian Conservation Foundation. “He trained us to give presentations like he did in his film 'An Incovenient Truth'," she explained. “We do it from a more Australian perspective on how it impacts us directly. I did one for the Home and Away cast and they were really responsive.”
She encourages everyone to:
• Take responsibility for your carbon emissions, i.e. change your light bulbs and only drive when really necessary.
• Change to Green Energy which comes from renewable sources.
• Lobby your local government and raise awareness.
If you want a presentation at your school or office contact The Climate Change Project.
Rachel is obviously not afraid of a challenge and has also volunteered to walk The Great Wall of China with Olivia Newton-John.
"I am very excited about that, I was overwhelmed to meet Olivia the other day because I know all the words to Grease off by heart,” she laughs. "She’s such an inspiring woman; it’s going to be an incredible experience. I think I’m under-estimating how intense emotionally as well as physically it will be because a lot of the people are cancer survivors, so if you can put in a plug for anyone that wants to sponsor me that would be great. Sponsor me please, all I’ve got is my Mum," she pleads.
"The first boy I kissed died of cancer when he was very young and my Mum had a breast cancer scare a couple of years ago, she’s ok but it made us realise how affected so many people are by it and not always with such positive results. So when the opportunity arose I jumped at it. A lot of people are just doing a couple of days of the walk, but being the all or nothing girl that I am I signed up for the whole lot, so it will be very interesting."
There are lots of amazing people going on the walk, one of them is a fire-fighter who has had cancer twice and he said to all of us, “if you fall down I’ll pick you up and carry you the rest of the walk.” I’m just going to pretend to fall down, so that I get picked up by a fire-fighter,” Rachel laughed.
To sponsor Rachel go to the Great Walk to Beijing website and scroll down the page to find her profile.
After completing the walk, there is no time to rest. Rehearsals for ‘Boeing Boeing’ begin.
"This is about a French man who’s engaged to three different flight attendants and he keeps them all going by having their different timetables, but of course it goes wrong and they all come home at the same time. It’s very funny,” said Rachel.
This almost sounds like a script from Home and Away! In fact things continue to get steamy for Jazz in the Bay, with a new job and a new man, so keep watching for some lively encounters with this fun character.
Three things you don’t know about Rachel Gordon are:
Her last meal would be Ice-cream
If she could have three people for dinner it would be Al Gore, Meryl Streep and the Dalai Lama.
Two things that are always in the fridge, Ice Cream and Ice Cream
And don't forget to sponsor her, it's all for a very good cause.
Interview by Tania Seager.