Gabby West (Sophie Katinis)
Gabby is the thumping heart and much-adored lynchpin of her close-knit group of friends. She’s vibrant, grounded and strong and although she’s just turned 30 she’s just as energetic and physical as she was at school.
Gabby doesn’t hesitate to give herself and has a strong sense of right and wrong. So, on those rare occasions when she does mess up, she doesn’t let herself off the hook easily. This means she carries guilt (whether warranted or not) with a heavy heart.
Being so open and forthcoming, Gabby can sometimes get burned, but she’s certainly not one to let herself get trampled over, or not learn from her mistakes. Gabby is the one who tried to keep in touch with all her friends when they disbanded and drifted apart nine years ago. She’s also the one who got her friends back together and organised the fateful school reunion in their old stomping ground of Manly.
It was at Gabby’s 21st birthday party that another of the group – Jason Connors – died falling overboard on a Sydney Harbour boat cruise.
Gabby lives in a small apartment close to the beach in Manly with her friends Poppy and Peta, and she is in a secret relationship with 19-year-old Paul O’Donnell, the younger brother of her best friend, Jarrod.
Sophie Katinis graduated from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2002 with a BA in Music Theatre. Since graduating, Sophie’s singing and acting highlights have varied. She has fronted the popular Sydney bands The Family Vonn Trap and Baby Loves To Cha Cha and, in December 2005, she performed live at the Carols In The Domain. In 2007, Sophie played the role of Ellen in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Miss Saigon. Sophie has enjoyed considerable success across film and television. She has worked on various feature films and has appeared in many television commercials. Sophie’s television credits include Hi-5 (as a puppeteer and understudy), which also involved tours to Singapore, Malaysia and the UK, and she was part of the main cast in the television series Headland.
Jarrod O’Donnell (Clayton Watson)
Jarrod is Mr Dependable; Mr Responsibility. He’s the rock of the group and the one everyone can rely on – whether they need a shoulder to cry on, a hand with the barbie, or someone to tie their shoelaces. He is the protector of all the girls, especially his daughter, Zoe, and wife, Tracy, and always looks out for his younger brothers.
Jarrod takes his roles as husband, father and mate all very seriously. He does, however, have an explosive temper. Thankfully, he treats his friends like family and would never lose it with anyone he loves.
He’s had some tough times in his life – Bec leaving, becoming a father, his mum dying and the usual conflicts with his brothers – however, things seem to be fairly happy and content, for the moment.
When Bec left him abruptly after Gabby’s 21st birthday, Jarrod was heartbroken. He got together with Tracy only a few weeks later and, eight months later, their daughter, Zoe, was born.
Clayton Watson is best known for playing the role of Kid in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, alongside Keanu Reaves. Clayton started his career in 1996 with a lead guest role in the television series Flipper and followed this with the feature film Casino Reef, a lead role in the children’s series High Flyers and a lead guest role in the police drama series Blue Heelers. In 2001, Clayton was cast in the role of Mickey Steele in the award-winning television series Always Greener – a role that saw Clayton win the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor. Clayton has also starred in the feature films In the Middle, Bonnie And Clydo, the modern supernatural thriller Credo, Three Blind Mice, Under The Radar and Stephanie V.
Poppy Hammond (Katherine Hicks)
If Jarrod is the rock of the group, then Poppy is the breeze and the sunshine.
She’s the most left-of-centre out of all her friends and skips through life with a deep love for spontaneity and adventure. Sometimes her seemingly scatterbrain ideas are exactly that. However, more often than not, there’s method to Poppy’s madness.
She has some truly mature insights into the workings of the human heart and a keen ability for exploring previously uncharted territory – and helping others do the same.
Poppy loves to learn for learning’s sake and, as such, is curious about just about everything. She has three unfinished university degrees and has dabbled in floristry, midwifery, anthropology and abseiling instruction, among other things.
Growing up, Poppy was intrigued and confused with her early attraction to the same sex. Although she experimented with boys including Addo, Jarrod’s younger brother, she has now found a true partner in Peta and is starting to make a new life with her in Manly. While her parents have been accepting of her relationship, it is a different story for her grandmother, Olive, who’s finding it hard to adjust.
Katherine Hicks graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004 with a BA in Dramatic Arts (Acting). Prior to attending college, Katherine starred as Tess Mason in the television drama series Heartbreak High. Katherine has a number of feature film credits, including Sugar Mountain, and has appeared in $quid The Movie as well as the short films Unholy Devotion, Polish Pursuit and Showcase. Theatre is also a big love of Katherine’s and she has starred in Something She Had To Tell (Pilot Productions), Actors At Work (Bell Shakespeare), Dirt Girlz (Short and Sweet Festival), After The End (New Theatre) and Art As A Weapon (New Theatre).