Jessica de Gouw maintains momentum despite the pandemic
Jessica de Gouw in ‘Operation Buffalo.’
After starring in Network 10’s The Secrets She Keeps and the ABC’s Operation Buffalo, Jessica de Gouw’s career continues to flourish while many in her profession are idle due to the pandemic.
The London-based actress heads to Austria next month to start filming the second season of Vienna Blood, the British/Austrian murder mystery which screened on BBC2, PBS in the US, Germany’s ZDF and Austria’s ORF.
Adapted from Frank Tallis’ novels and set in 1900s Vienna, the series starred Matthew Beard as Max Liebermann, a doctor and protégé of Sigmund Freud. When Liebermann comes into contact with Oskar Rheinhardt (Juergen Maurer), a detective struggling with a baffling murder case, he agrees to help solve the investigation.
In the show produced by Red Arrow Studios’ Endor Productions and Austria’s MR Film, de Gouw she played Amelia Lydgate, a scientist who is placed in an institution after a medical episode and is treated by Liebermann. Amelia is then called on to help the doctor solve cases using her forensic expertise.
“I’m thrilled for the wonderful creative team that the series was so well received and has been commissioned for a second season,” she tells IF via Skype.
Before that she played Lord Snowdon’s second wife Lucy Hogg in the third series of Netflix’s drama The Crown. That experience was even more enjoyable as her episodes were directed by Aussie Jessica Hobbs.
In Porchlight Films’ espionage thriller created by Peter Duncan and Tanya Phegan Operation Buffalo she played Eva Lloyd George, granddaughter of British Prime Minister David Lloyd-George, who was sent to Maralinga to research the impact of the nuclear tests on the weather.
Her ulterior motive was to find the spy who was leaking data to the British and Australian Labor Opposition. “She’s the most favourite character I’ve played because she was the most prolific liar and every interaction she had with other people was of her making,” she says.
Laura Carmichael and Jessica de Gouw in ‘The Secrets She Keeps’.
She had a ball playing Meghan, a glamorous online ‘influencer’ opposite Laura Carmichael’s Agatha, a supermarket shelf stacker, in Lingo Pictures’ psychological thriller The Secrets She Keeps, which was sold to the BBC, Sundance Now in the US and multiple other markets.
“I would gladly do a second season,” she says. “If you find something that works and a group of creatives you enjoy working with, of course you would take the opportunity to work with them again.”
Lingo Pictures’ Helen Bowden tells IF: “Jess is effortlessly elegant but also has a soulfulness and authenticity that makes her very likable on screen.
“Meghan has a very visceral journey in the series, losing her baby when he is only a few hours old. Calibrating that performance to be believable without risking the audience, who are already upset about a missing baby, switching off, was just so crucial. We knew that Jess had the acting chops and it’s great to see her stepping into her power.”
After Operation Buffalo she played Louisa, the wife of Sergeant Nate Clintoff (Sam Reid) in The Drover’s Wife the Legend of Molly Johnson, the revenge Western written by, directed and starring Leah Purcell.
When Clintoff learns that Molly’s drover husband is missing he sends his assistant Trooper Leslie (Benedict Hardie) to investigate, triggering a chain of brutal events.
“I can’t wait to see it,” she says. “I think it will be really special. Leah is a force to be reckoned with. It was fascinating watching her change hats from being in an incredible scene which she tears apart, calling cut and then watching the monitor.”
In February she started shooting an international series, title under wraps, in London which was shut down in March. She hopes production will resume soon and she can fit that in around her Vienna Blood schedule.
“I’m very grateful for the jobs I’ve had; it’s been quite an adventure,” says the actress whose credits include The Hunting, Riot, Underbelly, These Final Hours, Cut Snake, The CW’s Arrow and NBC’s Dracula.
On her wish list is the chance to work again with many creatives she admires, such as Jeffrey Walker, Peter Duncan and Closer Productions.