Natalie Imbruglia has clocked up a lot of frequent flyer miles this year. Now in Los Angeles, the singer and actress had a “great holiday” in the Aeloian Islands off Italy (her dad’s homeland) and travelled to the red heart of Australia to film First Contact for SBS.
Taking on the three-part documentary—airing for three successive nights from November 29, it shows six European Australian celebrities challenged about their perceptions of Indigenous Australians—was “a big risk,” Imbruglia, 41, tells WHO. “I’ve never really done a reality-type show like that. Cameras are rolling, you’re being yourself, not knowing what was coming.”
Despite buzz she clashed with former One Nation hardman David Oldfield, Imbruglia would “do it again in a heartbeat.” The experience “was emotionally draining, physically exhausting, incredibly inspiring and, towards the end very hopeful. It was nice to have a more informed opinion,” says the star, who was asked to be an “ambassador for the women we spoke to for the stolen generation, and I really want to honour that. I’d like to go back in my own time.”
The experience was different to the getaway to Italy, where she’s “been spending a lot of time, getting to know where my origins are. My dad’s from a pretty cool place.” Imbruglia stayed at a vineyard and took cooking lessons, mastering a local specialty: “Fried eggplant with angel hair pasta done al dente and wrapped up and sprinkled with tomato sugo with ricotta cheese and baked. Pretty delicious.”
Is she fluent in Italian? “No, but I do a fantastic accent,” she says. “Lot of talking with my hands. That gets you a long way.”
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