Jessica Marais on motherhood and the Bonds Baby Search

Jessica Marais, Bonds Baby Search co-judge/ambassador, is looking for a "cheeky character".
Jessica Marais, Bonds Baby Search co-judge/ambassador, is looking for a "cheeky character". 

Jessica Marais says she will be looking for personality and a “cheeky character” when it comes to helping choose the winner of the 2014 Bonds Baby Search, of which she is an ambassador and co-judge.

It would be “impossible” to choose on looks alone, says Marais, noting that “every baby is beautiful”.

The Silver Logie-award winning actress spoke to Essential Baby from Brisbane, where she is performing in Cosi with her husband, actor James Stewart.

Jessica Marais as Joan Millar in Nine's <i>Love Child</i>.
Jessica Marais as Joan Millar in Nine's Love Child

Along for the journey is the couple’s 18-month-old daughter, Scout, who Marais said, “grew up in Bonds”.

Marais says the family is enjoying the opportunity to live and work in different cities before Scout starts school. Based in Sydney for most of last year for the filming of ABC telemovie Carlotta and Nine's hit new series Love Child, Marais’ next big move will be to Adelaide, where she will work on a film project with acclaimed director Jim Loach.

She says that while she over-packed the first few times they moved, she now has it down to a fine art. “[We take] just a few toys for Scout – a small bike and a tepee, as she prefers to play with adult things anyway ... like my iPhone!” she jokes.

Marais grew up with a schoolteacher mum and is pragmatic about combining career and motherhood. "Everyone finds it hard being away from their kids, but they know you love them. It’s all about cuddles and affection [when you are there]," she says.

“And I only have one child – I look at people who have five and think ‘wow’!”

It helps that Stewart is no slouch in the dad department, taking primary care of Scout while Marais worked on Magic City in the US last year. The couple met on the set of Packed to the Rafters and have been together for four years now, and Marais describes him as “very supportive”.

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While Scout won’t be entered in the Bonds Baby Search this year, Marais says she takes lots of photos of her toddler anyway.

“That’s what the competition is about for me, it’s about capturing those special moments.

“It’s a celebration of family and a celebration of children.”

Entries for the Bonds Baby search close on Monday the 3rd at 4pm. Enter at bonds.com.au/babysearch.