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Asher Keddie's surprising confession about fame: "I can't remember what it's like to walk down the street and not be looked at"

The Offspring star gets brutally honest about the reality of living in the spotlight.

By Rebecca Sullivan
Asher Keddie is one of Australia's most formidable actors.
Her big break came in 2004 on Foxtel's cult classic show Love My Way, and since then she's starred in critically acclaimed Australian drama shows including Underbelly and Rush. Plus, she made waves for her performances as Cleo founder Ita Buttrose in Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.
There is no doubt she is loved and adored by Australian audiences.
Asher has won the Most Popular Actress Logie Award five times in a row, between 2011 and 2015, and in 2013 she was awarded the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian TV, for her role as Dr Nina Proudman in the smash hit series Offspring.
Offscreen, Asher has flourished too.
She is married to award-winning artist Vincent Fantauzzo and the couple have a four-year-old son together, Valentino, while Vincent has another son, Luca, from his first marriage.
And late last year, Asher was unveiled as department store Myer's newest official fashion ambassador, a lucrative and high profile role that allows the 45-year-old to indulge in her love of fashion.
Asher, left, pictured with her son Valentino, husband Vincent and his son Luca, from a previous relationship. (Image: Instagram)
But while on paper life might look super shiny, Asher says she battles with the same issues as most women - juggling work and family, the fight for meaty work that feels valued, and making peace with ageing.
She sat down with Australia's first and only female prime minister Julia Gillard, on her podcast titled on A Podcast of One's Own, and opened up about the brutal realities of living your life in the spotlight.
Keep scrolling to read the best highlights from Julia and Asher's conversation.
Asher pictured with her husband Vincent. (Image: Instagram)

On being recognised in the street every day

"I had spent many years dreaming of being applauded for work and recognised, and there's a part of every artist that wants and needs to be recognised, and appreciated, but once it happened I didn't quite know how to sit in it comfortably.
"I almost lamented it for a little while. Things have evolved now and I have become comfortable with it, because it really is just part of life.
"I can't remember what it's like to walk down the street and not be looked at. I can't remember that really. It's been quite a long time.
"I'm more comfortable now with it, also because with age and experience my confidence has grown as my personal confidence as grown as well.
"I'm more protective of my children now and how they might feel if people stop us in the street."
Asher says she has now become used to the complete loss of her anonymity. (Image: Getty)

Her thoughts on ageing and plastic surgery

"The women that I admire and the women I think are working prolifically in their 50s, 60s and 70s now, are largely untouched by the pressure to remain youthful. They're just being themselves.
"Personally, I like the way I look as I age. I like the way my friends, my girlfriends, my sister and my mother look.
"I think of Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren and Julianne Moore and these wonderfully gifted, driven, ambitious women who have great strong voices who don't feel the need to inject themselves with, goodness knows whatever they inject themselves with, and they've got something different to say.
"I certainly don't feel the pressure myself, but I think [filler and injections] have just become part of our culture now.
"I am mortified when see twenty-year-old girls changing the shape of their faces or plumping their lips out or their cheeks. It's somehow become about more than just trying to hold onto youth, it's become about wanting to look like someone else, needing to have a different appearance then what you were born with.
"I like to look great and feel great, but I don't want to look like someone else."
Asher and Vincent glammed up at the TV WEEK Logie Awards. Asher has won seven Logies in total over the years. (Image: Getty)
Vincent with his two boys. (Image: Instagram)

On the precious two years she took off work to be with her family

"I had worked really, really hard for probably six to seven years, back to back, as a female protagonist in the shows that I was making.
"So the pregnancy [with her son, Valentino] coincided with a time where I really needed to take a break. I also felt like I was saturated. Even I couldn't look at myself on another magazine cover, so I thought 'Surely it's time to step away for a moment and give everyone a break and myself a break', and it was also wonderful to have a partner like Vincent who encouraged it.
"He didn't for a second question my choice about it. He just said 'This is absolutely your choice. If you want to take six weeks off and go back, that'll be tough on you, but I'll pick up the slack. If you want to take two years off that's valid too. It's your choice.'
"So, he is really great in that sense that he supports my choices. It just felt like the right thing to do.
"To tell you the truth, when [my son] came, I just loved him so much, being with him, and before I knew it, it had been thirteen, fourteen months before I went to go back to work. It was wasn't really a plan it just happened that way."
WATCH BELOW: Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo walk the red carpet. Story continues after video.

Why Nina Proudman on Offspring was the best role she's ever played

"One of the many gifts of Offspring was that Nina Proudman, as kind of nutty and crazy as she may have been in some ways, was an extremely complex women to play.
"It was one of the first shows here that really allowed one of the central characters to drive every part of the show.
"As an actor and as a women, I thought 'I don't know if I can ever go back from here'. Driving something like this ignited something in me that I like about myself.
"I am ambitious and I am driven to tell female stories and reveal more about ourselves as women, so that perhaps it can have an impact socially and culturally.
"And I'm kind of only interested in working on projects like that now where a bigger conversation can be ignited."
Asher as Nina Proudman in Offspring. (Image: Network Ten)

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