She started her career in musical theatre, but Wollongong-born Natalie Bassingthwaighte might be best known for her role as Izzy on Neighbours. The actress and mum talks all things family and going back to her roots.
WATCH: Rapid fire questions with Natalie Bassingthwaighte
You’ve partnered up with the SISTER2sister charity. Why is this a cause close to your heart?
I’ve got three sisters, so the “sisterhood” was always really important. SISTER2sister reaches out to young teenage girls that have suffered from neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse to take part in a year-long mentoring program. They learn survival skills and how to develop a work ethic. It’s a beautiful thing.
Are you excited to star in Chicago?
It’s been a dream role of mine to play Roxie Hart since I was young. I actually was a dancer in the show 20 years ago. I understudied Roxie Hart at the time, but before I went on for my first show
I broke my rib, so I never got to go on.
How are you getting into shape for the role?
I’ve started dance lessons already because I used to be a dancer a long time ago, but when you get older you feel like you need to do twice as much as you used to. I still danced in the audition, but it’s one thing to do it for 20 minutes, another thing eight shows a week. So I’m doing yoga, pilates and personal training.
What’s the most beautiful thing about being a mum?
Every day it is quite literally amazing the things that they do and say. I was playing with the ball with my son in the house and he goes, “This is the best day of my entire life.” My daughter is so beautiful as well. They’ve just got hearts of gold.
What was it like portraying villain Izzy on Neighbours?
Hilarious. It was so fun being the naughty one. But I don’t think I’d go back to playing her full time. I like exploring different characters and different parts of my personality.
How do you stay grounded?
The last 12 months I meditated and taught my kids to meditate. I just think that mental health, physical health and health holistically, I think it’s really important to look after yourself. If you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after your children.