Much ado about Nina
Asher Keddie and the cast of Offspring.

Asher Keddie has to dig deep when playing Offspring's emotionally messy Nina Proudman, but the effort may see her strike gold.

Keddie says when Nina returns to our screens next week for the third season of Offspring, she is in even greater emotional turmoil than previously.

After finally making a decision on her love life, Nina has to learn how to settle in to a serious relationship with anaesthetist Patrick Reed (Matthew Le Nevez).

"We get to see her stand still and enjoy what she has," Keddie says. "Things still get shaken up, though, because it would not be Offspring if they didn't.

"She struggles a little bit. She feels like she has got it made but something is going to go wrong or should go wrong, because that is the way her life should be.

"So she starts self-sabotaging really and, over a long period of time, we see her really trying to commit to the relationship and trying to understand her partner and herself."

Keddie's emotional performances in Ten's comedy-drama about navigating the chaos of modern life, as well as her critically acclaimed portrayal of Ita Buttrose in ABC's Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, have seen her nominated for a Gold Logie.

The other contenders are Spicks and Specks host Adam Hills, comedian Hamish Blake, The Project's Carrie Bickmore, Home and Away star Esther Anderson and Today host and 2011 Gold Logie winner Karl Stefanovic.

Keddie plays down the honour of being nominated but admits it is "cool".

"It feels like such a nod of encouragement not only for the characters that I have been playing and that people are enjoying, but to the projects I have been doing," she says.

"For a show that has such a point of difference and that is not all that easy to watch, I think it is very encouraging."

Looking at Keddie's list of recent accomplishments, it is hard to fathom that the popular actress could feel the need for encouragement. Her credits include a well-received role as Blanche d'Alpuget in 2010's telemovie Hawke, opposite Richard Roxburgh as Bob Hawke, as well as star turns in Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities and Love My Way, plus a spot alongside Hugh Jackman in Wolverine.

So maybe the need for support comes from her alter-ego, the wonderfully neurotic Nina Proudman.

Speaking during a break in filming Offspring's third season, Keddie admits she has trouble leaving the 30-something obstetrician on set at the end of each day.

"It has never been my strong point to drop my character when I get home, so I do kind of live and breathe her for the duration," Keddie says with a laugh.

"There is never a dull moment and if there is ever a moment where I drop the ball, I know it. It is just not possible to do that and make the show sing the way it needs to."

With the possibility of leaving the Logie award ceremony on Sunday on Nine with a Gold Logies, Keddie is definitely hot property in the television industry but she is not rushing in to her next big project.

She refuses to be drawn on what the future may hold but is attracted to projects that are entirely different and challenging.

She will not rule out returning to Offspring for a fourth year.

"When you read the script, one page you are laughing hysterically about what she is putting herself through, and then three pages later I feel like I am going to cry when reading it," she says.

"Swinging from emotion to emotion each day, swinging from elation to self-deception, is a little tricky on the emotions. But that is precisely what an actor wants." <div class="endnote">

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The West Australian

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