The same year she graduated from drama school Toi Whakaari, Dannevirke-raised Jessica Grace Smith won a starring role in Diagnosis: Death, as a young cancer patient investigating ghosts. Smith rejoined the film's director Jason Stutter to co-star in his black comedy Edwin: My Life as a Koont. Then she headed to Australia. A week before she was planning to relocate to Los Angeles, she scored an ongoing part in Aussie soap Home and Away. In 2019 Smith landed the role of a young Cheryl West on Westside. Smith has also directed for the screen, including short film Everybody Else is Taken.
I guess you could say I had a bit of an epiphany. I did very well at law school and got top grades, but life is too short and I wanted a job I loved. Jessica Grace Smith on swapping from law to acting, Dannevirke News, 26 September 2011