Satchwell’s decision to remain in Australia and work on projects which spoke to her both personally, and professionally has been our gain. She’s appeared on a huge variety of shows over the past 20 years, from Play School to Packed to the Rafters, Wonderland and now Channel Nine’s follow up of ’90s hit SeaChange. Now trying her hand at producing, Satchwell is enjoying a new challenge thanks to FX series Mr Inbetween. But life as an actress has come at an extreme cost for Satchwell, 38. Despite her desire to keep her private life out of the spotlight, her high-profile relationship with Matthew Newton gained many column inches over the years. Newton was found guilty of common assault after being arrested following an incident in 2006. And earlier this year, Satchwell’s love-life made headlines again when she split with Sydney film editor fiancé David Gross. In her interview with WHO, Satchwell reflects on the ups and downs of her life and her new role on the SeaChange reboot.
How do you feel about so many people knowing details of your private life?
I try not to get distracted by the negative, the emotion and the trauma of any experiences. It’s important to determine what you’re aiming for and where you’re going. Sometimes when you’re going through a life experience and you go, “I’m really looking forward to getting to the other side”, once you do reach the other side, you always look back and go, “That’s why that happened then.”
Do you have Instagram?
No, I don’t. I missed social media because I was working when it was built. Then it was important to me to maintain the integrity of the relationships I already have.
Did you make a conscious choice not to talk about your personal life?
It’s just an instinctive choice. There have been some very unusual stories about me running parallel to my professional life and that’s been a curious thing to navigate. They’re not only deeply personal experiences, but they also do have some element that bring them into a public forum and that’s just a really weird thing to be part of. Needless to say, everybody does have a story. Every single one of us does. I’m no different in that respect.
You’re 39 this year, how do you feel about ageing?
I love it. With every year that ticks past, you feel more present and more accepting, more surrendered to the chaos of life. Time is short and you need to think about who and what matters to you and how to work towards that.
How did SeaChange come about?
There was a casting call that had gone out and I nearly missed it. I was in the middle of moving house and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it. I ended up going completely unshowered from shifting boxes. There was just something in my stomach that went, “no, you have to go there” and I’m so glad I did.
What’s it like working with Sigrid?
She has the biggest generous heart I’ve ever come across. She’s got a huge load to carry with SeaChange – she’s playing the lead role and the world revolves around her character. She’s incredible.
Tell us about your character.
When we meet Miranda, she is pregnant. We’re not clear on who the father is or what the surrounding circumstances are. She’s in a little bit of denial, even though she is pretty much nine months pregnant. I just played pregnant in [upcoming film] Ride Like a Girl so I’m racking up my pregnancy bellies. I’m learning about fasteners and straps that can make the experience more pleasurable.
Has it meant people ask when you’re going to have kids?
Yes. Everybody thinks I’m pregnant. They see me mainlining coffees and they politely suggest that’s not a good idea. I definitely convinced a lot of the extras and the locals. Then when you whip it off they get very confused.
SeaChange airs Tue., 8.40pm on Nine.
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