Kat Stewart on her career and what she knows about men
Advertisement

Kat Stewart on her career and what she knows about men

Occupation Actor. Age 45. Relationship status Married. Best known for Playing Billie Proudman in Offspring. Currently Starring in Orange Is the New Brown.

When I was at university
I didn’t want to meet the man of my dreams, settle down and start a family. I was more relaxed about it.

When I was at university I didn’t want to meet the man of my dreams, settle down and start a family. I was more relaxed about it.Credit:Eddie Jim

My dad, Tony, worked as a solicitor in Bairnsdale, Victoria. He used to work long hours and I barely got to spend quality time with him. Then in 1981, when I was eight and he was in his mid-30s, he quit his day job and took the family to Europe for 12 months.

It was a very progressive thing to do at the time. Together with my mum, Kitty, and my two older brothers, David and Jeremy, we spent six weeks on the road in a campervan and moved to London. It was due to Dad's adventurous spirit that we packed up and took off. When we came back to Australia, he had a career change and ran travel agencies.

I went to a co-ed school, Nagle College, in Bairnsdale and always felt comfortable around boys. But at 14, when we moved to Melbourne, I went to Melbourne Girls Grammar and found the cultural and gender shift hard. That's when I started to become giggly around boys.

Advertisement

My first kiss was at a Blue Light Disco in Bairnsdale when I was 14. It's a classic country bogan story. His friend asked on his behalf if I wanted to kiss him and I said yes. It was fairly clumsy and unpleasant.

My older brothers ganged up on me a bit as a kid – just standard psychological torture. I couldn't date any of their friends. We get along well now, live a few kilometres from each other in Melbourne and spend Christmas and Easter together at my dad's holiday place in Phillip Island with our families. I love them dearly.

Dad and I are very close and talk most days now. I admire and look up to him. He is the kind of person I wanted to be like because he represents the values I want to instil in my kids. He has strong self-belief and is a risk-taker and has always had a strong sense of what's right.

Mum died three years ago from pancreatic cancer. After her diagnosis, in July 2015, she only had 4½ months of life. Dad really stepped up in this time. I was able to stop work and me and my brothers spent most days with Mum. Dad became an incredible cook and caretaker; his devotion to her was above and beyond. It became crystal clear they were truly a team. They met as teenagers and set a high bar of what I expected from relationships.

My first boyfriend definitely broke my heart. I was 18 and held back a bit after that; I was more cautious. I just thought that's how relationships work.

I didn't have many boyfriends in my 20s. When I was at university I didn't want to meet the man of my dreams, settle down and start a family. I was more relaxed about it. I never had a type, either. I tended to date guys who were friends first. I always fell into relationships with good friends. I also had a "no actors" policy.

I was a fan of my husband, David Whiteley, before I fancied him. We played a married couple in a play at Red Stitch Actors Theatre in Melbourne, and on another occasion he directed me.

David and I were genuinely just friends, and both in other relationships, when we worked together and it took three years for us to finally commit – I broke my "no actors" policy with him. It was a long road, and very exciting. We finally married in 2008, when I was 35.

David is very centred and isn't out to prove anything. He is smart, talented and easy to relate to. He has a lot of female friends, a strength not everyone has. I am drawn to this sort of man in life – those who are emotionally intelligent.

David and I have two children – a son Archie, who's six, and a twoyear-old daughter, Georgia [known as Gigi]. Archie is really creative, cuddly and affectionate. He is interested in engaging and learnt to talk early. He wasn't so keen on walking.

Dave is an amazing dad. We knew it would be a very 50/50 partnership when we had kids as we are both actors, and sometimes he does more than his fair share. He is a wonderful father. I love hearing him reading stories to the kids because he can do all the voices so beautifully; it's wonderful to eavesdrop on.

Orange Is the New Brown is on air now on the Seven Network.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale November 18.

Most Viewed in Entertainment

Loading
Advertisement