A PRIVATE AFFAIR
She may be a well known star on Home and Away but Isabella Giovinazzo doesn’t always enjoy being in the public eye, writes Colin Vickery
Isabella Giovinazzo doesn’t play by the rules. When the Home and Away star got married to boyfriend Charlie Ford last year there wasn’t a reporter in sight.
The pair didn’t swing some big money deal to sell their wedding photos to one of the women’s magazines. Instead, they kept their nuptials a secret.
It’s a refreshing attitude at a time when most TV stars are all too happy to cash up or overshare on social media.
And that is exactly how Giovinazzo, who plays Phoebe Nicholson on the long-running series, plans to keep it.
“It (the wedding) was such a special day for us and I want to keep it close to my heart,” Giovinazzo says.
“Not everyone who was at the reception was at the ceremony. That was only immediate family because it was so poignant for us.
“I just wanted to keep it as our little special thing. That is how I see marriage between two people. We had a small wedding. It was our day, our marriage, and our life.
“If there is a little part of me just for me then it is easier to bring big stuff to my scenes as Phoebe on Home and Away because I’ve got a little part of me tucked away for myself.”
Giovinazzo says the fame that comes with Home and Away is a double-edged sword.
“It is pretty daunting because I’m a private person. When we’re out on the beach shooting a scene there can sometimes be 100 people watching. I do freak out a little bit.”
The upside of that fame comes in spades when Giovinazzo takes part in the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. This year’s telecast will include everyone from Bruce McAvaney to Molly Meldrum, My Kitchen Rules contestants and 800 Words’ Melina Vidler.
The Good Friday Appeal Night Show will feature performances from Samantha Jade, Cyrus, Rob Mills, Adam Brand and Stephen K Amos.
“I feel so privileged to be part of the telecast,” Giovinazzo says. “This will be my third year. We go to the hospital at the beginning of the day and hang out with the kids. They are real troupers.
“Some of them have been in and out (of hospital) a number of times but they have such grace and joy. It is absolutely inspiring.”
Giovinazzo made her first appearance on Home and Away at the end of 2013. Singer/ songwriter Phoebe arrived in Summer Bay when she heard that former boyfriend Kyle Braxton (Nic Westaway) was putting on a music festival.
Phoebe and Kyle reconnected but the romance was doomed. Phoebe’s father disapproved. Kyle had anger issues and mixed with the wrong crowd. Phoebe moved on to Ash (George Mason) but then discovered she was pregnant with twins to Kyle, but lost the babies.
Just to add to the drama, Phoebe was also kidnapped by a crazed fan. Her relationship with Ash looks set to crumble.
“Phoebe has changed, she has grown up,” Giovinazzo says. “She has moved on from wanting to be a pop star and she is teaching now. There is potentially a new love on the horizon which is very exciting. Maybe a more mature love.”
When Giovinazzo isn’t on the Home and Away set, she and Ford, who met at film school, are working on a web series. It is inspired by experiences the couple have shared. Which begs the question of how much longer Giovinazzo will continue on Home and Away. Right now she’s staying put.
“The time to move on will come but I don’t know exactly when,” she says. “I’m really keen to see these fresh stories through.”
“We had a small wedding. It was our day, our marriage,
and our life”
I SABELLA GIOVINAZZO
RCH GOOD FRIDAY APPEAL, SEVEN, FRIDAY, FROM 9AM; HOME AND AWAY, SEVEN, WEEKNIGHTS, 7PM
Isabella Giovinazzo is back for a third Good Friday appeal; (inset) with husband Charlie Ford.