While she's half-American—her dad hails from California—new Winners & Losers star Demi Harman, 23, still found Los Angeles "brutal" when she was living and auditioning there last year. "It literally is crazy town," she tells WHO. "In great ways, but in scary ways too."
Like what? Says Harman, who kept up a long-distance relationship with her Sydney-based former Home and Away co-star Alec Snow, 23 while she was away, "in terms of comparing it to Australia you do feel like pond scum because you go into a casting room and there's no small talk. Here, they'll go, 'Hey Demi' and they know about you and what you're doing, but in L.A. that definitely isn’t the case."
As for whether the pressure of trying to break big in Hollywood drove Harman to extreme dieting or exercise regimens, "I think it probably does happen to some people, sadly, but me, I just physically can’t do that," she says. "That’s just impossible for my body type and for my personality."
Adds the Better Homes and Gardens presenter, "I just feel I would be a terrible person if I didn’t eat. You'll never see me anorexic, I promise you."
Part of her concern is that as a spotlit role model for younger women ("That sounds so wanky") Harman says it's important "to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. It’s all a balance. Some days you’re going to feel like two croissants and that’s how it is, and some days you need to run twice. The most important thing is health and looking after your body. You've got to treat it well."
For Harman, who plays new girl in town Riley in the final season of Seven's Winners & Losers, that means running for "a maximum" of half an hour, although "I don't run as much as I do yoga. I love doing yoga, and my sisters recently have gotten me into Pilates, which really nails you."
Buoyed by the intensity of her last Hollywood experience, Harman will be back there in September looking for roles (I' m not going to stop going until I get something!") but admits last year she missed something from home she'd always taken for granted: "I think I missed the birds the most. In Australia you just hear birds out the window, but in L.A. you don’t really hear them at all."