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Celeb News

Deborah Mailman: My childhood struggle

Deborah Mailman. Photography by Harold David, styling by Judith Cook.
Since she was a shy six-year-old, teased for her weight at school in Mount Isa, Deborah Mailman has struggled to learn to love herself.
Australia started falling in love with Deborah when she began her acting career 20 years ago, and she has finally fallen in line, accepting herself as well.
Whether Deb entertained your children (or helped you learn the time as a child) during her 1990s stint on Playschool, you followed her character Kelly through young adulthood in The Secret Life of Us, or caught up with her more recently as nurse Cherie in Offspring, there's no doubt you've at some stage been captivated by her larger than life presence and infectious smile.
But to Deb wasn't always the lovable, beautiful Australian woman we now know.
"I struggled with my weight pretty much since the age of six. Playgrounds can be really cruel places. I overcompensated by being especially nice to people, but deep down I was struggling a lot," she tells the September issue of The Weekly.
"I discovered drama at school and loved the feeling it gave me," she says.
"It's a weird thing being an innately shy person and choosing to stand in front of people for a living. But just the feeling it gave me made me think that this is how I can contribute. This may be my gift."
It's a gift she's shared with generations of Australians, and with the recent success of her latest film The Sapphires, it's one that may take her even further from home and straight to Hollywood.
Now with a husband, two kids and a burgeoning film career, the once-shy, bullied school girl might finally have it all.
"Have I ever," she beams. "I can't believe how much I've got it. I used to worry all through my 20s whether I was going to find my one. And then I met him and it just sort of happened.
Read Bryce Corbett's interview with Deborah Mailman in the September issue of The Australian Women's Weekly. Plus download our viewa app to see exclusive footage of Deborah Mailman at The Weekly photoshoot.

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