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20 February 2020

A Podcast of One's Own: Australian actor Asher Keddie on women in TV

Julia talks to leading Australian actor, Asher Keddie, about fame, toxic celebrity culture and supporting women in TV

Asher Keddie and Julie Gillard

Leading Australian actor Asher Keddie appears on the latest episode of  A Podcast of One’s Own with Julia Gillard. She opens up about the pressure fame has brought, the toxic culture around celebrity and her drive to support women in front of and behind the camera.

Keddie is widely known for her role in the critically acclaimed Australian TV series Offspring, for which she received the 2013 Gold Logie award – the highest accolade in Australian TV. Since then she’s starred in numerous leading roles and most recently branched out into producing.

Keddie describes herself as a “late bloomer” because she didn’t shoot to fame until later in her career. While she had “spent years dreaming of being applauded for her work”, suddenly being in the public eye was a challenge:

“I didn’t quite know how to sit in it comfortably; I almost lamented it for a little while.”

Similarly, when she received the Gold Logie award and was labelled the “Golden Girl” of Australian TV, she had mixed feelings:

“I was hoisted onto a pedestal and…the expectation was very high…I felt like my freedom had kind of been thwarted a little…I wasn’t comfortable with that label because I know who I am and I’m not a ‘Golden Girl’. I have as many foibles and challenges and shortcomings as anybody else.”

Despite the underrepresentation of women in TV especially amongst producers, directors and screenwriters, Keddie believes things in her industry are changing for the better in terms of women’s leadership, and she believes she can play a role in this shift:

“I am driven to tell female-skewed stories and reveal more about ourselves as women so that perhaps it can have an impact culturally and socially.”

“I do feel as if I have drawn these kinds of projects towards me because…I think there’s bigger conversations to be had.”

She attributes this desire and ambition she has to change the industry to the all-women teams she’s worked with:

“It’s been a combination of the right people around me – women, all women and the right stories coming to my attention. But also my drive to support female-driven work behind the camera and in front of it.”

“There are trailblazers, they are coming. I want to be a part of that push where we reach 50%. I think we’re getting there…women’s confidence is growing enormously in my industry.”

You can find this and previous episodes of  A Podcast of One’s Own, on all the main podcast platforms.