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Tammin Sursok’s Latest Role Reignited Her Body Image Battles, But She’s Glad She Persevered

Tammin Sursok is a well-known Australian actress who, like every other Australian star, got her to start on Home and Away. Given her humble beginnings, it’s easy to forget that the actress has built a reputation for herself internationally, starring in shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Young and the Restless, Aquamarine, and Hannah Montana, among others.

While most actors’ ambitions include packing up their belongings and moving somewhere near the Hollywood sign (which was certainly true for Tammin), the actress insists she still considers Australia her home. She’s recently returned to Australia, and she’s excited to not only establish roots here but also to show her two young girls what it’s like to live in this country.

“When I came back with my kids it was just like the floodgates opened up about how much I miss Australia, I love it here,” she told marie claire Australia.

Sursok went on to remark that, despite her homesickness, she understands that she lives a dual existence and must share her heart evenly between Australia and America. The actress’s work life has doubled in intensity since marrying an American film director, and the family has had to split their time between the two nations to handle everything. They’re still figuring it out, but for the time being, they’re content to be at home.

Sursok is pleased when an Australian project offers itself, providing her the opportunity to further her career on home soil, despite her unmistakable affection for the United States. What’s the most recent? The famed Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin feud is depicted in an all-Aussie movie, shot and produced in beautiful Queensland. The series (which is presently available to watch on Stan) stars John Cameron Mitchell and Kate McKinnon as sworn adversaries, alongside a cast of equally intriguing characters, one of whom is played by Sursok.

“It was just so amazing to be cast on a great show like that. I I love Kate McKinnon so much and she’s an idol of mine – I feel like it was a manifestation dream actually be in the same makeup room with her. It felt super surreal to be part of it to be honest,” Sursok said excitedly.

While accepting the post seemed like a no-brainer at the time, it wasn’t without its drawbacks. Sursok had great reservations about her character’s attire, as it brought up a slew of unresolved issues for her with her body image. Going about their regular lives is difficult enough for anyone dealing with similar issues, but add many cameras and a full film team to the mix, and many people would be paralyzed by terror. Tammin was in exactly this predicament while filming Joe vs Carol, torn between feelings of exhilaration and horror as she faced the harsh truth of her character as the sexually liberated, sensual-dressing Nicole.

“I don’t know If I ever fully accepted my body. I’m honest about it through my social media posts because I feel like a lot of people, women especially, are going through the same thing. I was an overweight teenager and I had eating disorders when I was in my teens. It was like this hidden secret that I felt really ashamed about,” Sursok explained.

“A couple of years ago, I just kind of threw it out there and told the truth and said what was going on with me and I was so worried about it because it was like, my secret I thought it was keeping me safe, but it really wasn’t, it was making me sick. The minute I shared it, I realized that a lot of girls, especially young girls were going through the same thing. When you walk that road with eating and not loving yourself in some form, it doesn’t just go away. I get asked a lot of the time, ‘well, how did you get better?’ and I would say that my relationship with food is great now, but I wouldn’t say my relationship with my body is particularly wonderful – and I think that that’s the process. It takes time, and I think as you get older, you start to accept things in your life and appreciate your body for what it does and not what it looks like.”

Tammin went on to say that while this new duty was first triggering, she’s proud of herself for completing it.

Being in this show [Joe vs Carol] my character is in a very revealing outfit for most of it, and I almost didn’t do the role because I was worried about having to do something like that in front of people. Then I just got to a point where I was like, ‘I hope that the reason I don’t get this role isn’t because of my body, I hope it’s because of my acting’, and so I had to lean into that and accept that this is my body and I just sort of jumped in,” she explained.

“I felt like something bad would happen if I jumped in the deep end, and it didn’t. And I think when that happens, you get an emotional high and are so proud of yourself. So I would say in the beginning I wasn’t that comfortable and by the end of it, I definitely felt more comfortable within my body.”

While the actress confesses that her self-love journey is continuing and ever-evolving, she believes that pushing herself outside of her comfort zone allows for the most growth, which is why she seizes every opportunity to do so. Sursok recently collaborated with legendary Australian company Best & Less to celebrate the introduction of their new denim collection, yet another project that requires her to get in front of the camera — but this time, it was lot less intimidating and far more relaxed.

“It was really nostalgic for me,” Sursok said. “I’ve been around for a while, Best & Less has been around for a while and I thought it was pretty cool to partner with them and come out with their new denim range. I’ve travelled to a few different states within the last 10 days and like air hostesses will be like, ‘Oh, I went into Best & Less and I saw you there and ended up buying it,’ and it really connected me with everyone, it was nice.”

When asked why she thought the new denim collection was a wonderful fit, she said it seemed like the right combination of her continuous love for denim and a desire to support Australian brands she knows and loves.

“I’ve always loved denim, I’ve worn it since I was 17 and comfort is really important to me because I’m exhausted most the time being a working mom and I love these pieces so much that I actually haven’t taken off my overall in like three days, because they’re so comfortable and also stylish. Partnering with them and being involved in this has been quite an honor,” she said.

Despite the fact that Joe vs Carol has only recently been released on Netflix, there is never a dull moment in the world of entertainment. Sursok has already set her sights on the next big thing, which will see her return to her hometown for a new series called The Good Hustle. The show is about what it takes to make it in the media business, as the name implies (and the lengths some people will go to stay there).

Sursok stated, “It’s about five publicists who work in the ruthless business of publicity, and it’s a very female-driven show.” “Obviously, I’ve never worked as a publicist, but I’ve worked with a lot of agents throughout my career, and just getting a glimpse into that world in the minor ways that I have is intriguing, and it’s worth showcasing how that works.” It will cover a lot of ground that is both profound and authentic, and there will be a mystery element woven throughout the entire program.

Intrigued? Understandable. The business of public relations may appear to be all flash and glamour on the surface, but Sursok finds the human-psychology component to be “absolutely intriguing.”

“Public relations is all about making something out of nothing.” I know for a fact that sometimes there’s nothing going on with great personalities in America, but then there’s some kind of story – something scandalous or a relationship where people get hooked up merely for the sake of recognition. Individuals may create their own story in a variety of ways, and the people pulling the strings are publicists, which I find fascinating and powerful.”

Unfortunately, Australia has had a number of setbacks in recent months. The seemingly unending spate of disasters has wreaked havoc on the entertainment industry, creating all kinds of delays. From lockdowns to closed borders and floods, the seemingly endless string of calamities has wreaked havoc on the entertainment sector, causing all kinds of delays. Tammin expressed her sadness that filming has yet to begin, but is optimistic that they will get the opportunity to do so soon.

Tammin had the chance to meet her co-stars, including Alexa Hung, Lisa Flanagan, and Tim Robards, at a roundtable reading and described them as “professional, humble, and pleasant.”

It’s a wild business, but Tammin’s enthusiasm for it is evident. Her profession has taken her not only over the world but also on a personal journey that is still teaching her new things about herself after all these years — and that, my friends, is what the good hustle is all about.


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