On the Couch with Natalie O’Donnell

Natalie O'Donnell AAR On the CouchWho is Natalie O’Donnell?
Mum, Wife and Actor currently playing ‘Donna’ in Mamma Mia! The Musical.

What would you do differently to what you do now? 
I’ve learnt so many lessons from all my life experiences and I wouldn’t want to change any of them but I would love to have the chance to advise my twenty something self to believe in who she is a little more.

Who inspires you and why?
My mum and my sister. Two incredible women who have such huge hearts that they share openly and vastly.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
As artists I feel we have huge potential to open people’s hearts and minds and make them more empathetic to others and their stories – to make audiences reassess the way they consider things or raise their awareness or simply just uplift someone who needs a break from they’re daily challenges. Whether large shifts or small I never underestimate the value and power of the arts and feel incredibly privileged to call it my ‘job’.

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
Puglia, Italy. The history, culture, food, people and the surrounds are my idea of heaven.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to,and why? 
Assumption being I’m in my hometown of Geelong, I’d take them to the Bellarine Peninsula for a long lunch at a winery on a clear spring day overlooking the water and You Yangs. It’s as beautiful an outlook as any I’ve encountered.

What are you currently reading? 
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

What are you currently listening to? 
It changes regularly but currently a great Stevie Wonder playlist.

Happiness is? 
My little Family.

What does the future hold for you?
My Mamma Mia! adventure continues for the near future and then who knows! Once upon a time that might have scared me, now I realise the possibilities are open and endless.

Natalie stars as Donna in Mamma Mia! The Musical – currently playing Sydney’s Capitol Theatre until 6 May, before heading to Crown Theatre, Perth (from 15 May); Princess Theatre, Melbourne (from 10 July); and Adelaide Festival Centre (from 9 October). For more information, visit: www.mammamiathemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Natalie O’Donnell (supplied)