From Playboy to Carrigstown for Jenny Dixon

Ex-school teacher Jenny Dixon hit the headlines two years, when she revealed she was a frequent guest at Hugh Hefner’s mansion in Los Angeles, during her summer holidays.

And there was a picture of her posing with the iconic Playboy publisher, to prove it.

But LA wasn’t all exotic celeb’ parties — among others, she met Simon Cowell, Jamie Foxx and the founder of Motown music. The Dubliner had a plan. A science and maths teacher in a boys’ secondary school, she wanted to train with top acting coaches and get noticed. It worked — she quickly picked up roles in short films, did TV work and some modelling.

Now on a career break, she has recently returned from a year-long stint in LA to take up the role of beautician, Kerri-Ann Boyle, Mondo’s new romantic squeeze, in the RTÉ soap, Fair City.

But isn’t Dublin and Fair City a far cry from high-powered LA and parties at the mansion? “There are amazing parties, whether it’s Ireland or Europe or America — it’s the icing on the cake. I’m loving working with RTÉ and Fair City, at the moment. That, to me, is a party,” says 29-year-old Jenny.

What shape are you in?

I am in good shape. In LA, you are surrounded by people who are very health-conscious. I exercise five times a week, mixing it up between my own workout, bootcamp, TRX and a 30-minute jog.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I’ve introduced a lot of kale into my diet. If I am having a really healthy day, I would not have bread that day. In the morning, I’d eat grapefruit or an egg white — if I am being extremely healthy.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

If I’ve a week or two off filming, I might go to Burdocks and get a bag of chips — maybe even a piece of Brennan’s white sliced bread and butter, and a cup of tea.

What would keep you awake at night?

If I have some anxiety and I’m thinking of things. I can also be awake if I’m very excited about something.

How do you relax?

I read articles online. I’ve signed up for some science journals — as nerdy as that may sound — and motivational journals. I also read acting books — that’s my passion.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

People I admire in the field of acting: Amy Adams — she’s so grounded; Reese Witherspoon — I think she is amazing; Anna Faris; Zooey Deschanel — she is amazing with her own TV shows and her own sense of style; Ryan Gosling and Will Smith — they’d be amazing.

What is your favourite smell?

Vanilla candles.

Is there anything you’d like to change about your appearance?

No, then it wouldn’t be me. Of course, it’s a continual pursuit of that perfect body.

When is the last time you cried?

I had a lot of messages when my first Fair City episode aired, recently. I was overwhelmed by the genuine delight for me.

What trait do you least like in others?

I don’t like when I see dismissiveness.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

I continually have a ‘floordrobe’ going on — it’s on my to-do list to sort out today.

Do you pray?

I do. When I was in LA, I found going to mass once a week was an hour of simplicity away from the competition and the ambition. Since coming back, I’ve found a similar church in Dublin.

What would cheer up your day?

I love a little bit of sun coming out. Also, I had one scene at the end of my first three weeks on the set and the director came out and said he didn’t expect it to be as funny as it was — I was elated.


Lifestyle

Well first and foremost, it depends what type of cold you have, as Prudence Wade discovers.Should you exercise when you’ve got a cold?

Make like a Masterchef contestant with this sophisticated dessert.How to make Marcus Wareing’s milk chocolate, raspberry and thyme tart

Waste not, want not – this one’s all about using things up.How to make Marcus Wareing’s panzanella

With fresh produce in abundance, this Balkan state is becoming a top destination for foodies. Jonjo Maudsley gets stuck in.Get beyond Belgrade to taste the authentic side of Serbia

More From The Irish Examiner