Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Gillian Alexy's sexy role


GILLIAN Alexy didn't know she was about to become Tayler Geddes in McLeod's Daughters when she took on the role of sexy Cheryl.

Cheryl is the girl who becomes the lover of both Jerry (Nathan Phillips) and Pete (who is played by Dangerous star Khan Chittenden), in the new Australian drug drama West.

What will McLeod's fans think of their Tayler in bed with two Aussie hunks?

"I don't think many McLeod's Daughters fans will see it," Alexy says.

"It's two very different audiences and I did this long before I was cast in McLeod's. I didn't know down the track I'd be doing the TV series."

West is set in Sydney's western suburbs.

Jerry and Pete are cousins, close since childhood, involved in drugs, and who both love Cheryl. A brutal killing is the catalyst for Cheryl to make some important decisions.

"It was one of those scripts so strong everyone wanted a part," Alexy says.

"They all were characters an actor would kill to do. Cheryl's a tough role and I so badly wanted to do it. There are lots of scripts and auditions but few where you feel you really, really, really want to do this.

"The nature of our industry means you have to take roles offered to survive. There are two different audiences and I don't think they'll cross over very much.

"I've been working since I was about 10. The whole reason I moved to Sydney was to kind of break out and find roles that challenged me.

"To get West was amazing, it was fantastic. I finally felt the hard slog I'd put into moving to Sydney was paying off.

"I'm a city girl and had a pretty comfortable and easy upbringing so, for me, West was a world I didn't know about.

"I talked a lot to writer-director Dan Krige and others who'd grown up in Sydney's western suburbs to try and understand what it was like to grow up out there.

"The kids out there don't know that it's s--t or that their life is so full-on compared to what others are. It just is what it is to them."

Alexy (her middle name) was born in France and her mother is from the Champagne region north of Paris.

"I'm half American my dad's American so there's always that bit of a pull for me to go over there," she says.

"We came out here from New York when I was about four to New Zealand, then Melbourne and Perth.

"Both my parents are dancers, so showbiz is in my blood. My father is John McLoughlin. When I was younger doing shows with Dad, he gave me my own name and that stuck.

"Mum was a tap dancer and both worked at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) at Perth University. I used to hang around the campus since I was four."

Alexy says her big goal is to go to the United States. "But a lot of that is because that's the process you have to do," she adds.

"It's the nature of our industry. We have to go over there to continue acting regularly and keep your skills up.

"If you stay here and don't work regularly you end up doing a waiting job or a retailing job. There's nothing wrong with that but that's not what you want to be doing."

By Stan James
July 25, 2007
The Courier-Mail