Stel­lar NATALIE IMBRUGLIA

Q &A mu­si­cian & ac­tor “Women are scru­ti­nised… the Ge­orge Clooneys of the world don’t get asked the things we do”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Carrie Bickmore - In­ter­view by AL­LEY PAS­COE Airs 8.30pm, Novem­ber 29 to De­cem­ber 1, on SBS and NITV.

Next year is the 20th an­niver­sary of “Torn”. How will you cel­e­brate? Is it re­ally? Wow. I’m in­cred­i­bly proud; I mean that song does not die. It’s heart­warm­ing get­ting In­sta­gram videos of peo­ple drunk at karaoke singing the song. I don’t know what I’ll do – maybe I’ll par­ody my­self. You re­leased your first al­bum in six years, Male, last year. Will we have to wait an­other six years for the next one? Well, I’ve been writ­ing and writ­ing and writ­ing, so we’ll see. I’m cer­tainly not known for be­ing fast when it comes to writ­ing [laughs]. I’m ex­cited about mak­ing new mu­sic, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for it to come out soon, be­cause you might pass out. You’ve spo­ken about learn­ing to be com­fort­able with your ap­pear­ance and not “apol­o­gis­ing for be­ing good-look­ing”. How did you get to that point in your life? [Laughs] That lovely jour­nal­ist! Look, when you’ve been un­der the mi­cro­scope since you were very young, it takes a long time to ad­just. It’s not a nat­u­ral thing from a young age, but it’s not some­thing I think about too much any­more. You fo­cus on things that are more im­por­tant. What ad­vice would you give to young women who are strug­gling with their self-con­fi­dence? I don’t think so­cial me­dia has been very help­ful with that. My ad­vice would be to love who you are and not com­pare your­self with other peo­ple. The SBS doc­u­men­tary se­ries First Con­tact took you and five other celebri­ties on a jour­ney into Abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralia. What was the big­gest chal­lenge? Try­ing to be calm and re­spect­ful of other peo­ple’s views when you pas­sion­ately dis­agree with them [was chal­leng­ing]. But feel­ing help­less in so many of the sit­u­a­tions when you couldn’t see an im­me­di­ate res­o­lu­tion was the hard­est part. There’s not one voice or face to the prob­lem; you can’t say there’s one story for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple. De­pend­ing on what mob they’re from and where they live, there is a com­pletely new set of is­sues. There are some ar­eas and some mod­els I think are work­ing, so it wasn’t com­pletely help­less, but we have a long way to go. Six in 10 Aus­tralians have had lit­tle to no con­tact with our na­tion’s first peo­ple. You’d never spo­ken to an Abo­rig­i­nal per­son be­fore the show. How did you feel about that? I grew up in an area where there wasn’t a big Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity. It’s not like I avoided it, it’s just that I didn’t come into con­tact with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple. I have al­ways felt an affin­ity with their cul­ture and [been] re­spect­ful of their re­la­tion­ship with na­ture. I also car­ried guilt about how they were treated when white man came. So I wanted to hear di­rectly from those com­mu­ni­ties about what life is like for them now. I feel like we don’t talk about it enough. Were you ap­pre­hen­sive about be­ing part of First Con­tact? I’ve never done

any­thing like this be­fore, but the is­sue was im­por­tant enough for me to be part of the con­ver­sa­tion and the change – even if that meant ad­mit­ting I’m ig­no­rant. We can’t tip­toe around it or shy away from the con­ver­sa­tion be­cause we’re not sure what’s po­lit­i­cally cor­rect, and I in­clude my­self in that. If you’re not well-in­formed, how can you speak on some­thing? At least now I can say I’ve spo­ken to peo­ple who have suf­fered from things that hap­pened in the past. How did you get on with for­mer One Na­tion politi­cian David Old­field? I cer­tainly had dif­fer­ent views from David, but it wasn’t like we were fight­ing all the time, like it has been re­ported. It’s al­ways hard when you’re pas­sion­ate about some­thing and you don’t have the same views; that can be quite up­set­ting. I tried to stay as calm as I could – I am a fiery Ital­ian – and tried to be my­self and speak my truth, as did David. Ev­ery­body should be en­ti­tled to that. We had good re­la­tions sep­a­rate to dis­agree­ing in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. Chang­ing topic, you’ve said you’re not wor­ried about your bi­o­log­i­cal clock, that you’ve got time. Do you still get asked by well-mean­ing rel­a­tives and friends about that – and how do you re­spond? Girls get asked this ques­tion more than men; it’s re­ally weird. I don’t have a prob­lem with age­ing. I think if you try to hold on too tightly to youth, you get your­self into trou­ble. I ad­mire peo­ple such as Su­san Saran­don and Meryl Streep – those are the women I as­pire to be­come. They’re sexy and beau­ti­ful. It’s sad that in the me­dia, we’re scru­ti­nised more harshly than men. The Ge­orge Clooneys of the world don’t get asked the same things women do. I en­cour­age women to be loud and proud about age­ing. I don’t care about telling peo­ple my age. In Hol­ly­wood, peo­ple shy away from that, which I find hys­ter­i­cal. Why would you want to lie about how old you are? It’s stupid. A lot of Aus­tralians want to see you set­tle down with a white picket fence in By­ron Bay. Do you have any news that you want to share? Oh yeah, cat’s out of the bag! I bought a prop­erty in By­ron, which is a child­hood dream re­alised. Any­one who knows me knows I al­ways wanted to get a place in By­ron Bay and re­tire there. Be­fore I’d ever been to By­ron, I’d tell peo­ple that. I’m go­ing to build a lit­tle piece of heaven – I al­ways planned to do that. I’ll al­ways spend time back home. First Con­tact

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