Mcleod's Daughters: articles

jeffery / mackinnon

Stable relationship ... Aaron Jeffery and Simmone Jade MacKinnon's union will be bittersweet for views

Bridle party for McLeod's

SURPRISES wait at every turn as two favourite characters from Drovers Run tie the knot in a fairytale wedding.

There are some inevitabilities in life - death, taxes and TV weddings. And Australian TV weddings have provided us with some of the most memorable moments in celluloid history.

Think Shane and Angel on Home And Away or the ceremony which left nary a dry eye in lounge rooms throughout the country, that of Scott and Charlene on Neighbours.

Few will forget Ramsay St's suburban princess walking down the aisle to the strains of Angry Anderson's power ballad, Suddenly.

Now you can add another to the list with McLeod's Daughters' Stevie Hall (Simmone Jade Mackinnon) and Alex Ryan (Aaron Jeffery) tying the knot in this week's episode.

Jeffery believes a TV wedding is the "pay- off" viewers get for investing time with the characters.

"The way dramas/soaps work is that you have a very slow burn that goes on and on and on until viewers are at a point when they're pulling their hair out and telling you in the street that your characters have to get together," he says.

"So the wedding is a reward to the people who have supported the characters and supported the show, and ultimately you have to be fair and give it to them, at the end of the day."

While there is a certain fairytale aspect to TV weddings - the brides almost always frock up in elaborate gowns - the nature of the shows dictates that the day rarely goes smoothly for the bride and groom.

In this episode of the Nine drama, Alex finds himself in jail on the eve of his nuptials, partly as a result of a plotline involving a bull and a somewhat over-zealous police officer.

Meantime Stevie gets puffy red eyes when she has an allergic reaction to some make-up. "There is quite a bit of comedy in this episode," Mackinnon says.

It's been a big few months for the flame-haired actress. Besides filming episodes leading up to the wedding, Mackinnon received two Logie nominations. Mackinnon is still "baffled" as to why she was even nominated for this year's Gold Logie, which went to Home And Away's Kate Ritchie.

The previous year Mackinnon had made a bet with fellow actress, Rachael Carpani, who has since left for LA, that her colleague would receive a nomination for a silver statue. Carpani, in turn, bet that Mackinnon would. As it turned out neither was nominated. That Carpani and Mackinnon were this year up for Gold and Silver was "a massive shock" to both of them.

It does tell you how popular the show remains with viewers. And not just in Australia. McLeod's Daughters is seen in 100 countries throughout the world on the Hallmark channel. Mackinnon says she receives fan mail from Europe.

Germans, in particular, love the scenes of rural Australia.

For what it's worth, while Mackinnon is genuinely appreciative that viewers nominated her for Gold, she admits she breathed a sigh of relief when they read Ritchie's name out on the night.

"I'm quite petrified of public speaking," Mackinnon reveals. "I know that sounds ridiculous, but scripted words I can handle. Live radio interviews freak me out. I can jump out of planes, but if I had won I would have just been a blubbering mess. I'm 34, you expect that from the younger ones."

Two years ago the actress moved to a property closer to the farm outside of Gawler in South Australia, where the show is filmed. People told her she'd hate the country pace and move back to the city. On the contrary, Mackinnon says she loves it. "I have 11 pubs within walking distance. You do a pub crawl and literally crawl if you want to."

Mackinnon's love life, on the other hand, has been far from settled. Only last week she revealed she was upset by news the man she was set to marry has allegedly fathered a child with ex-The Cosby Show star Lisa Bonet.

MacKinnon and Jason Momoa ended their relationship suddenly late last year and Bonet is now looking heavily pregnant. Mackinnon's response to the scandal was: "Honestly, it's a shock and of course this news has been upsetting. But I have moved on."

While Mackinnon says she has no intentions of leaving the show, not so her colleague and screen hubbie-to-be, Jeffery.

The actor has decided to quit McLeod's, making the wedding a tad bittersweet for fans. Jeffery, who had been with show since it began in 2001, has already filmed his final episode, which we'll see early next year. He says he has no regrets about leaving.

"Everything has to come to an end. That's life. It's been a wonderful journey, but it was definitely time for me to move on," he says.

Jeffery, who has since moved on to take a role in irreverent New Zealand comedy Outrageous Fortune, says a return to the show is unlikely. "The journey was rounded off beautifully, so I don't see that in the foreseeable future. But this is TV and anything is within the realms of possibility."

By Stephen Downie
June 20, 2007
The Daily Telegraph