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

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY -

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

/ BOB BARKER

Is­abella Giov­inazzo is back for a third Good Fri­day ap­peal; (in­set) with hus­band Char­lie Ford.

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