Tammin Sursok looks back on her time on Home and Away, revealing what she’d do differently if given the chance.
Tammin Sursok isn’t embarrassed to show her emotions.
The former star of Home And Away heroically battled mental health issues, bullying, eating disorders, and most recently, a terrible near-miss with a school shooting in Nashville, where she now resides.
She tells news.com.au that she didn’t feel courageous enough to take on a leading role in the psychological thriller Blood, Sweat, and Cheer because she was worried that it could bring up some of her previous and present traumas.
“I worked with my acting coach, who warned me, ‘This is going to cost you.’” And I was curious as to what you meant. Because this persona is in so much suffering, she warns, “You’re going to come home every day feeling spent and exhausted,” she says.
I had to go there, though. I had to delve into aspects of my past and painful events that I really didn’t want to and attempt to develop a character from the ground up.
“I guess the reservation was I knew that I couldn’t fake it – I’m not that type of actor. I have to really go there,” 39-year-old Sursok adds.
“I suffer from anxiety and I can let my mind go to dark places when it’s to do with the world. You feel like you don’t have extensive control and you’re overwhelmed, and it’s hard to then go to work and really try to mess that up and bring it to the surface when you’ve spent so much of your day, your month, your year, your life, keeping those feelings dormant.”
Sursok plays suburban divorcee Renee in the movie, which is based on real events. Renee tries to relive her younger years through her teenage daughter Cherie (played by Monroe Cline). When Cherie moves in with her father as a result of Renee’s strict parenting, Renee is able to pass herself off as her daughter and secure the cheerleading scholarship she believed she should have received in high school. But her obsession quickly becomes lethal.
She adds of reading the script, which feels influenced by Mean Girls and Heathers, “I was intrigued, entertained, and shocked, literally, from the first page.” “I have experience as a mother. I am familiar with the experience of feeling increasingly invisible as you age.
The movie’s overarching subject of regret begs the question, “Would you have a do-over of your life if you had the chance?” Although the answer is unambiguously “yes” for Sursok’s character, it is not so clear-cut for the actress.
The South African-born, Australian-raised actress had her acting debut on the venerable serial Home And Away when she was barely a youngster. Looking back, she questions whether she should have delayed starting her career until she was older.
According to Sursok, who later went on to star in The Young And The Restless, “I obviously don’t have that desperation that the Renee has, but I know what it feels like to feel like you want to live your life over,”
who went on to star in The Young And The Restless, Hannah Montana and Pretty Little Liars after leaving Home And Away in 2004.
“The problem is, there have been times in my life when I have reflected back and wondered, ‘Ooh, would I have started Home And Away at 15?’” I was really impressionable and immature, and I had no real sense of direction. At the age of 15, I decided to pursue a career in acting. I was so desperate for it that it wasn’t my parents. But would going to a regular high school and not being in the spotlight have been better for my mental health?”
“However, if I hadn’t had that experience and hadn’t arrived where I am now, I never would’ve gone on set and met my husband [film producer Sean McEwen], which means I never would’ve had my current life.
o when you say, can you do something over, I guess it would mean could you do it over and still land where you are?”
Sursok says if she does have one regret, it’s not being kinder to herself when she was younger.
“If I could do it over, it would be less about the events and things that I did and more about how kind I was to myself,” she says.
“I still am not as kind as I could be to myself. I am a total perfectionist and that causes me a lot of anxiety. I would just give myself a break and I would give myself more compassion and I would tell myself that I was worthy and enough.”
When Sursok shot a six-episode stint on Neighbours last year, she was able to revisit that time in her life to some extent. The actress had previously been certain that she would never return to soap operas, but she later changed her mind because she “wanted to make sense of my childhood.”
According to her, “I had always declared in the press that I would never ever come back to it just because it was a chapter and that chapter was over, and I was happy with how that chapter went.” “And I finished. I was prepared to switch to a new chapter when they gave me the job.
Sursok said she realized accepting the job may give her a chance to reflect on her time as a teen opera star.
It has been so long. I’m not sure if I made up the sensations, the smells, the cafeteria alone, how it felt, or how huge the studio was. I wanted to accomplish that as an adult despite not knowing if I had made up all these things in my imagination about the event.
And it was both a completely new sensation and a memory-like one. First of all, I’m amazed at how long they shoot. That requires too many hours for me to think I could have a family and do that. However, it was a pretty interesting experience. I am happy I did it.
Sursok concentrates on her podcast, Women on Top, which she co-hosts with media personality Roxy Manning, in addition to acting and raising her kids Phoenix, 9, and Lennon, 4. With celebrity guests like Alicia Silverstone, Tori Spelling, Corey Feldman, and Rachel Bilson, the programs examine the chaos and the pleasure of being a woman, mother, and all in between.
“We started the podcast when my four-year-old was in my stomach,” she explains. “I just had a sense of being lost. I’ve experienced a few times in my life when I felt alone, especially around the time of giving birth. I just wanted to connect with other people, especially other women.
“We talk about subjects that people just don’t. The first time you do anything, it feels like you don’t want to be that open and real, but then it just gets easier. Now I try to look at it like, will this help someone? Will this make someone feel less alone?”
Sursok is equally outspoken on social media about her experiences in both her public and private life as she is in her podcast. The Nashville-based celebrity broke down in tears when her daughter’s school went into lockdown last month after the school next door was the subject of a shooter’s horrific spree that claimed six lives. According to Sursok, she and her husband have always intended their kids to attend high school in Australia, but in light of the most recent shootings, they are thinking about relocating as soon as possible.
“It’s just trying to figure out what the next steps are because America’s in a bit of trouble right now, for sure,” she says. “Australia will always be home. I did marry an American husband and my kids were born in America, so it’s just kind of getting them to understand. They loved living in Australia for eight months during the pandemic, so it’s trying to figure out a way to do that again.