Sonia Kruger makes it all look easy. From her roles as hosting the hottest shows on television, managing her business all the while being a hands-on mum, she does it with an effortless grace and her signature grin.
But as she chats to TV WEEK over the phone the morning after a late night shooting The Voice Australia, there’s not even a hint of tiredness in her voice.
“It’s funny because it doesn’t feel like work for me,” Sonia, 56, tells TV WEEK candidly.
“Filming last night, I felt like I had front row tickets at a fantastic concert. Sometimes I do veg out on stage because I’m so caught up in what’s going on and forget what I’m supposed to do.”
For a mainstay in the entertainment industry, zoning out on stage is permissible – especially when you can do it without missing a beat.
After starring as ballroom dancer Tina Sparkle in Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom in 1992, Sonia has become one of the most recognisable faces in Australian media and has gone on to do a range of roles in the industry.
From reporting on entertainment news to presenting, the blonde bombshell isn’t comfortable resting on her laurels.
“I feel like I need to take myself out of my comfort zone all the time,” Sonia tells TV WEEK.
“I don’t know why I feel the need to challenge myself. I like to experience everything the world has to offer. For me, variety is the spice of life but I’ve been incredibly lucky to be afforded that opportunity.”
When it comes to where she’ll take her ever-changing career next, Sonia has no clue…and for her, that’s a good thing.
“I’m a big believer that the past tends to be regret and the future bears worry and it’s important to live in the now. That’s why I tend to just go with the flow,” she explains.
“A lot of what has happened in my career hasn’t happened by design either – I’ve been in the right place at the right time.”
One example is her role as host of Dancing with the Stars. Years before it aired in Australia, she came across the British version, Strictly Come Dancing, while she was in the UK.
As a ballroom dancer, Sonia was captivated and mentioned it to Peter Meakin, Channel Seven’s head of public affairs at the time.
“I thought it’s just me who’d be obsessed with this show,” she laughs.
When she found out they’d already bought the rights, she knew she’d be the right fit.
“I just called him and said ‘hey, I’m actually a ballroom dancer and I’d love to work on this. And so that happened and set me on the trajectory I’m on today.”
In 2015, the Big Brother host started a new chapter – after a long road with unsuccessful IVF treatments and tragic miscarriages – she became a mum, welcoming her beautiful daughter, Maggie, now six, with her partner Craig McPherson.
For Sonia, like many women at the top of their field, deciding to have kids wasn’t an easy decision.
“It’s something that was on my mind for a long time thinking, you know, will I have to sacrifice one thing for the other?
“And the answer is no, you don’t,” she says passionately.
As Sonia talks about her daughter, it’s easy to hear her voice light up with joy.
“She just finished her first year of kindergarten and is going into year one. She loves school so I’m really happy about that,” she says proudly.
“If you’re questioning whether or not it is possible to have both a career and children, I would say it absolutely is,” she says.
“Go easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about small things because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not important.
“It’s important to be a loving mother. And It’s important to do your best with whatever career you choose – people can’t ask any more than that.”