Every time Asher Keddie steps onto a set something unexpected happens.

Asher Keddie has been a mainstay on our screens for close to 20 years. Yet every time she steps onto a set to film a new project and create a new character, something unexpected is sure to happen.

Ever since her breakout role in the 2004 series Love My Way, audiences have watched the Australian actress disappear into roles in Offspring, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Party Tricks, The Cry, Stateless, Nine Perfect Strangersand most recently the Binge series Strife, inspired by Mia Freedman's memoir Work Strife Balance.  

And while Keddie has been meticulous behind the scenes in creating these characters over the years, while speaking to Mia Freedman on the No Filter podcast, she confessed that she dares to wait until the cameras are about to roll to hear a new characters' voice come out of her mouth for the first time.

"I don't think I've ever admitted this or have spoken about it before," Keddie said on No Filter, while speaking about her first day of filming for Strife. "People must be mortified thinking about it, but I'll be honest about it and say I didn't hear myself speak her voice until I got to the set. And I don't know why. I mean, what a terrifying thing, it was a risk."

It's also a move her character in Strife, Evelyn Jones, would well approve of.

Asher Keddie stars as Evelyn Jones in the new series Strife, which is loosely based on Mia Freedman's memoir. Image: Binge


The new eight-part comedic drama follows Evelyn, a famed magazine editor who, after being fired from her prominent job, launches a women's website, risking her career to carve out a new place in the media landscape with only a small group of writers and some stolen Wi-Fi passwords by her side. 

"I could hear her voice in my head," Keddie said of bringing Evelyn to life. "But there's something about internalising it until it's time to perform. That must challenge me in the right way. 


"I didn't go to drama school," she continued. "So I don't have a process I can fall back on and I had to develop it myself. I can't execute it until I'm there and under that pressure. Then I start doing strange things with my physicality, I start sitting, walking, and running differently. I don't write ideas down, they're just in the body by then."

This thoughtful approach to her career went into overdrive when she finished playing Nina Proudman in Offspring in 2017With fame never being her end goal, Keddie instead carefully selected projects and characters that allowed her to grow as an artist. 

Listen to Asher Keddie and Mia Freedman talk about Strife and life on No Filter. Article continues. 

As an executive producer on Strife Keddie said she had never felt so creative before in her career, proving that alongside finding her character's voice in front of the camera, she has also well and truly found her voice behind it. 

"We made a loose plan," Keddie said when talking about her career after Offspring ended. "We decided to seek out projects that felt different to not only the tone of that show, but also the character. It's still thrilling to me that people are still so connected to that show.

"You don't know what being 'famous' or well-known feels like until it happens," she continued. "So whatever the idea of being famous is that we see as a little kid, even if it's dreaming of telling stories and being a performer, it's kind of a warped idea. I know it's strange but I don't think I ever thought about being famous when I was a kid. But as a kid, I certainly felt like I wanted attention and wanted to perform. I wanted to tell stories and jokes and make people laugh. I also wanted to make people cry. 


"With Strife I was able to see the bigger picture and the whole story. I just cared so much about the whole story, the themes, and all the different characters." 

In Strife Evelyn's storyline weaves between the engrossing nature of her job, encompassing the thrilling highs and brutal lows of running a start-up business the world still writes off as a blog, and her role as a mother to two teenage children. 

The series finds Evelyn and her family at a time of uncertainty and transition in their lives, with divorce, shared homes, and a new family dynamic all shaping the way they live their lives.

It was an interesting element of the story for Keddie to explore, in part because in her own personal life, she very much subscribes to the idea that you just never know which way life is going to take you.

The actress met artist Vincent Fantauzzo in 2012 when he painted her portrait, and they married two years later in Fiji. The couple now share sons Luca, from Fantauzzo's previous marriage, and Valentino who the couple welcomed in 2015.

"I didn't know I was going to meet Vincent and Luca that day in 2012 when I was in the thick of Offspring," Keddie said, of meeting her long-term partner and creating a family together. "I was hiding out at my farm with horses and racing back into the city to film. I could never do it now but I did it then in my thirties. 


"You don't know where life is going to take you sometimes and I like that feeling, I'm not afraid of it. So I just haven't felt the need to plan things out." 

 "I don't think I ever thought about being famous when I was a kid. I wanted to tell stories and jokes and make people laugh," Asher Keddie said on No Filter. Image Supplied. 


Since becoming a mother herself, the 49-year-old actress has played two different women on-screen who have suffered the unimaginable pain of losing their children. Heather Marconi in Nine Perfect Strangers and more recently Sally in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart.

"Actors are obsessed with the human condition and we want to understand it," she said of taking on these particular roles. "So sometimes you want to explore the bass notes and the darker side of things. 

"As a younger person, I would create situations for myself that were perhaps not as healthy as the ones I create for myself now. All so I could understand what it felt like to be in different situations.

"I completely understand people asking 'why would you put yourself through that'?" she said, in response to her role as a grieving mother in Nine Perfect Strangers. "It was hard because I had little Val, who was five at the time I was doing Nine Perfect Strangers. I was just in a complete state of pain, sobbing and wanting to get home to him. I was terrified, something was going to happen to him. So it is affecting, and there is a cost in that way."

Strife is now streaming on Binge. 

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Feature Image: Supplied.