Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy JUSTIN RIDLER Styling GEMMA KEIL Words AL­LEY PAS­COE

Ac­tor and mum-of-six Madeleine West mod­els chic whites.

Madeleine West is star­ing down the bar­rel of the cam­era. “As ac­tors, we’re al­ways taught not to look at the cam­era – ‘the cam­era’s in­vis­i­ble; ig­nore it’ – so I can never quite get my head around the no­tion of a fash­ion shoot,” she ex­plains.

Dress­ing up is a treat for the mother of six, who usu­ally wears Ly­cra – not be­cause she’s go­ing to the gym, but for the fact it’s eas­ier to sponge down. “Be­ing made up is such a bless­ing,” says the 36-year-old, whose chil­dren are aged from 19 months to 10 years. “You never re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate those things un­til you be­come a mother of many.”

West also ap­pre­ci­ates her time at work. She plays a break­fast-tv host on Net­work Ten’s new se­ries, The Wrong Girl, based on Zoë Foster Blake’s best­selling novel. “Work is not work, it’s a hol­i­day,” ad­mits the ac­tor.

´´when you´re a mother of many, work is not work, it´s a hol­i­day´´

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to hang out with like-minded in­di­vid­u­als and drink cof­fee while it’s hot. I can wear white and it’s [still] white at the end of the day, as op­posed to be­ing cov­ered in tomato sauce.”

Tomato sauce aside, West be­lieves be­com­ing a mum has made her a bet­ter ac­tor. She says hav­ing five daugh­ters and a son (with chef/restau­ra­teur Shan­non Ben­nett) has taught her em­pa­thy and vul­ner­a­bil­ity – emo­tions she can bring to her char­ac­ters.

Moth­er­hood has af­fected her ca­reer in other ways, too. “I’ve sadly had to say no to [some work of­fers] be­cause I never want to be in a po­si­tion where I take on a job and end up re­sent­ing it be­cause it’s taken me away from other things,” she says.

The work­ing mum doesn’t sub­scribe to the no­tion of “hav­ing it all”. “It’s about know­ing what you can and can’t do,” she says. “I al­ways say the uni­verse only gives you what you can han­dle.”

And whether that means wear­ing Ly­cra or de­signer clothes, West can def­i­nitely han­dle it. The Wrong Girl premieres at 8.30pm, Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 28, on Net­work Ten.

´´i can wear white and it´s still white at the end of the day, not cov­ered in tomato sauce´´

Bally jacket, $2990, 1800 781 851; Kitx pants, $395, kitx.com. au; Alinka rings on right hand (worn through­out), $3900 (di­a­mond cross over), and, $1100 (gold band), alinka­jew­ellery. com; Madeleine’s own ring on left hand; shoes, $140, sol

Michael Lo Sordo coat, $1200, michael­losordo.com; Boss dress, POA, hugo­b­oss.com

I Love Mr. Mit­tens knit, $525, ilovem­r­mit­tens.com

Camilla knit, $379, camilla.com.au; Kitx skirt, $595, kitx.com.au HAIR Mon­ica Gin­gold MAKE-UP Mer­ton Muaremi

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