Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Simmone Jade Mackinnon

FARM stay . . . Simmone Jade Mackinnon has found a country cottage for living while working on the set of McLeod's Daughters.

Rural idyll for Daughter

MOST of the McLeod's Daughters' cast live beside the beach in Adelaide, which means they spend a couple of hours on the road each day getting to and from work.

But not Simmone Jade Mackinnon. She found a little cottage in the bush that's only a stone's throw from the South Australian property that doubles as Drovers Run.

"For me to get to work only takes 10 minutes. They have the beach but I prefer to get my sleep," Mackinnon says.

"I love my little house but I think that's something that has come with age, maybe I'm nesting. It's an 1880s stone cottage and it has a big back yard for my dogs and I love my little garden.

"I was already a country girl because I grew up on the land and I just love being out here in the morning and at sunset. The trees down here are the most beautiful I have ever seen, especially in the summer with the blue sky and golden fields behind them.

"The country that we shoot in has become a character of its own. The house and the land are a big part of the show, and there is no way that we could shoot anywhere else now."

But living in South Australia and playing Stevie Hall on McLeod's means that Mackinnon is on the other side of the world to her fiance Jason Momoa who is based in Canada while filming his series Stargate Atlantis.

Momoa, an American who was born in Honolulu, and Mackinnon met on the set of Baywatch Hawaii in 1999 and lived together in Los Angeles before each was cast for roles that would put the Pacific Ocean between them.

"The time really flies, we can see each other because we have the money to fly back and forth so that makes it easier, and we know that this is the start of a future for us."

Mackinnon is also enjoying the fruits that come with playing a core character on a weekly drama series, success that's made all the more sweet when she remembers the hard times of trying to make it in Hollywood.

"When we first moved to LA we were on a high after Baywatch, but then the sheer reality of how hard life is for an actor hit us. We had no money and were living in a trailer with no running water, it was a real slap in the face for us," she says.

"I was in LA when I heard about this job. Aaron Jeffrey's (ex) wife's sister told my sister that they were looking for Erin Brockovich on a horse, so I gave the casting agent a call after they had already been looking for Stevie for a few months.

"I had not seen the show when I got out here to do the final audition. I was jetlagged when I sat down to watch three episodes, and I thought the show was amazing, so that made me more nervous because I really wanted it.

"During the audition I sucked. I really wasn't good at all, but they took it into consideration that I had just flown in from LA the night before and they gave me the job.

"They were specific about what they wanted and everyone knew how important the character was. With Lisa Chappell leaving, Stevie had to win hearts and had to be up with Tess. And, as much as I would like to claim Stevie, everyone moulded her."

By Sarah Nicholson
November 14, 2006
The Courier-Mail