Jessica Marais to play Carlotta

By David Knox on April 22, 2012 / Filed Under News 18

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Jessica Marais has landed the lead role in the the miniseries on the famed King’s Cross showgirl, Carlotta.

Carlotta is often referred to as “Australia’s most famous transsexual.”

Produced by FremantleMedia Australia, it is set to air on the ABC sometime in 2013. It is not expected to begin shooting until the end of the year.

The former Packed to the Rafters star has more recently been appearing in Magic City in the US for Starz. It has already been renewed for a ten-episode second season.

Carlotta, also a former Beauty and the Beast panellist, is acting as a Consultant on the project.


  1. Erik1981 April 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm -

    @ kathy Comment well i i’m not from Syd ami . so i haven’t seen her apart rafters.

  2. Mr. J April 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm -

    Don’t like it. What about Courtney Act?

  3. tonyhar April 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm -

    It sounds like a drag to me.

  4. mydoona April 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm -

    What…Tori Spelling wasn’t available??.. she looks more like Carlotta than Jessica Marais does.

  5. Kathy April 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm -

    Erik1981said – no a very good role for her after leaving rafters :(

    You need to tune into Magic City where she does appear in the nude more than once… now that is something very different to her role in the Rafters.

  6. Moanique April 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm -

    @MuchoTB, Carlotta still does shows around Australia every week. She is 68 now, so you could say she is from the baby boomer era.

  7. Belinda April 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm -

    Her voice is a little deep and husky, from memory. I can’t remember how tall she is. But interesting casting anyway.

  8. MuchoTB April 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm -

    I’ve never even heard of this Carlotta person, or this project at all. Must have been a Baby Boomers thing

  9. deedeedragons April 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm -

    Like others have said the height is a big problem.

  10. simmo3 April 22, 2012 at 11:36 am -

    no wont work she is just nothing like Carlotta, dont care how good an actress she is…..

  11. daveinprogress April 22, 2012 at 10:39 am -

    I guess they need a ‘name’ for the funding of it.
    Virginia Gay has the stature and potential androgeny (i say that with respect, not derision).
    Or the other interesting mix of gender qualities on Winners and Losers – Zoe Tuckwell Smith – but not sure is she would have either enough experience or a name to get it launched.

  12. Jennome April 22, 2012 at 10:38 am -

    I agree, terrific and gorgeous as she is, Jessica would in no way convince me she’s Carlotta. Too short, too girly.

    I look forward to being proved wrong!

  13. Ronnie April 22, 2012 at 10:20 am -

    The Head of Drama at the ABC needs to take final responsibility for this choice. Jessica Marais is a coup on one level, but eventually may be viewed as a loss of nerve. Part of the key to the success of Pricilla was the casting of those fabulous men.

  14. Moanique April 22, 2012 at 10:07 am -

    I know that Carlotta herself wanted Jessica Marais to play her, but i’m not convinced she is the best person for the role. There are so many transexuals that could have played this role.

  15. Shelley April 22, 2012 at 9:58 am -

    Surely she’s also too short???

  16. Erik1981 April 22, 2012 at 9:43 am -

    no a very good role for her after leaving rafters :(

  17. Adam Oriti Art April 22, 2012 at 8:26 am -

    Very unconvincing. She was born female. There will be many transsexual people that would love to take the role that is true to the Narrative.

  18. daveinprogress April 22, 2012 at 6:46 am -

    Interesting, She has the acting chops, but will need to gain some weight, and some make up – i think she is way too pretty. Carlotta had presence, still does – but has a most distinctive voice and speech. That will be an acting challenge of the highest order – Jessica will need all her W.A.P.A training. Definitely one to watch.

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