Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

hen Kas­san­dra Cle­menti found out last year that she had landed a ma­jor role on pop­u­lar TV drama UN­REAL, which tracks the machi­na­tions that go into cre­at­ing re­al­ity TV dat­ing shows, she was giddy with ex­cite­ment.

Hav­ing been a part of the topsy-turvy en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try since she was in her teens, how­ever, the Ade­laide-born 28-year-old tem­pered her ela­tion with a healthy dose of, well, re­al­ity.

“There are a lot of hoops to jump through once you get a job,” Cle­menti tells Stel­lar. “I re­mem­ber be­ing thrilled but also try­ing to in­hibit the ex­cite­ment slightly, so that if any­thing went awry, I wouldn’t have an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis.”

Cle­menti needn’t have wor­ried. Three days af­ter learn­ing the news, she was in Van­cou­ver film­ing UN­REAL, an ex­pe­ri­ence that was both cold (“It was snow­ing!”) and re­ward­ing (“I couldn’t think of any­thing else in the world that would make me as happy”).

Just don’t ex­pect to watch her on any “real” re­al­ity TV shows any­time soon, and not only be­cause UN­REAL has given a good – al­beit dra­mat­i­cally skewed – per­spec­tive on how the genre gets made. “I think I should stick in my own lane and leave re­al­ity TV to peo­ple who are good at that,” Cle­menti says. “And I just wouldn’t be par­tic­u­larly good. On a show like Masterchef, for in­stance, I’d in­quire about mak­ing toast. They’d be like, ‘No, we need this fancy souf­flé,’ and I’d be, ‘Cool, I’m just go­ing to pass out now.’”

Cle­menti moved to the US when she was 20 to work on the TV show Sin­gle Ladies, also star­ring Queen Lat­i­fah, but liv­ing so far from home at such a young age was a dif­fi­cult ad­just­ment. “I was home­sick,” she ad­mits. “So I made an ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sion that I wanted to come home, but I also wanted a rea­son to come home. I was lucky enough to get a job on Home And Away.”

She had a “won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence” work­ing on the long-run­ning soap drama, but in 2016, af­ter three years in the role of pre­co­cious vi­o­lin­ist Maddy Os­borne, it was time to move on. “I felt like I ex­plored that char­ac­ter and the ex­pe­ri­ence of that show,” Cle­menti says. “I grew up. It got to a point where I was ready to go back to LA and see what it had in store.”

Even though she has found suc­cess again – aside from play­ing Crys­tal in UN­REAL, she has just com­pleted the film, Stuck Out Of Love – the jour­ney has not al­ways been easy. “I think if there was some­thing out there for me that I thought would bring me as much joy as act­ing, I prob­a­bly would have, at sev­eral points in my ca­reer, ex­plored that,” Cle­menti says. “The knock­backs are a real slap in the face. There are times when it’s try­ing and re­ally hard.”

But she is de­ter­mined to per­se­vere and has even writ­ten a script. “Who knows what the fu­ture holds?” she says. “I would love to end up pro­duc­ing and cre­at­ing my own work, and di­rect­ing.”

Back in Aus­tralia to pro­mote her role as life­style brand Sun­nylife’s first-ever am­bas­sador,and to launch their sum­mer 2018/19 cam­paign Par­adise Found, Cle­menti is both baf­fled by, and grate­ful for, her good for­tune.

Dur­ing the cam­paign photo shoot on the beaches of far north Queens­land, she re­calls, “[The crew and I] all said to each other, ‘Pinch us! This is work? Can you be­lieve this?’ Ev­ery sum­mer for the rest of my life, I’ll be some­where trop­i­cal, lay­ing on a Sun­nylife float!”

As the shoot pro­gressed, an au­di­ence of lo­cals would of­ten gather to watch and say hello, and Cle­menti em­braced the in­ter­ac­tion. And why not? As she sees it, some of the best parts of her job are meet­ing peo­ple and be­ing able to tell sto­ries that res­onate with view­ers.

On the other hand, the scru­tiny into her pri­vate life is not quite so wel­come. “There needs to be a clear line be­tween per­sonal and pro­fes­sional,” she ar­gues. “But I’m aware that the ca­reer I’ve cho­sen and adore comes with as­pects you wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily sign up for. Fam­ily, pri­vate life… it’s pri­vate for a rea­son.”

Cle­menti then grows qui­etly re­flec­tive as she con­sid­ers the year she’s had. “Think­ing of it at this point, it’s just been beau­ti­ful,” she says. “I couldn’t be much hap­pier.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.