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TV

EXCLUSIVE: Meet the voice behind Bluey’s mum, Melanie Zanetti

For Melanie Zanetti, voicing the mum of one of Australia’s best-loved animated characters has given her new life goals.

By Scott Ellis
It's the cult kids' TV show that has won the hearts of parents and children in Australia and indeed the world.
The show premiered on ABC Kids in October, 2018. Since then, Bluey has become ABC iView's most watched program in history and has gone global after been picked up by Disney and the BBC.
Aimed at five-to seven-year-olds but loved by people of all ages, the cartoon follows a six-year-old blue heeler puppy, Bluey who lives in Brisbane with her parents, Bandit and Chilli and four-year-old sister, Bingo.
As the endearing kids' show airs its third season on our screens, TV WEEK caught up with the voice behind Bluey's mum Chilli - 35-year-old actress Melanie Zanetti.
Here, she speaks to us about landing the iconic role, why Bluey strikes such a chord with families around the world and if she ever gets recognised by fans.
What's the most exciting part of playing Bluey's mum Chilli?
Getting to work on such beautifully written scripts with a team of wonderful people on a show that I whole-heartedly believe in – you don't get that with every project!
Chilli's a working mum juggling her family as well – she's a bit of a role model, isn't she?
Chilli is definitely a role model. I think an audience should note that the reason she's able to juggle life successfully is the equality in her relationship.
The show depicts Chilli and [dad] Bandit sharing 
the domestic household duties and child-rearing equally. They support each other with love, respect and humour. Chilli and Bandit are my parenting 
and relationship goals.
Chilli unmasked: Melanie Zanetti (L) says she loves bringing Chilli to life. (Images: Getty, ABC)
What do you love most about her?
I love that Chilli is so warm, smart and kind, with a wry sense of humour. She knows how to have fun, is an excellent mum and partner, but is also fallible, which makes her so relatable. She's 
the kind of person (or dog) I would 
want to be friends with.
Did you ever imagine Bluey would 
become so big?
I don't think anyone could have predicted just how massive Bluey would become. But when I first saw the pilot episode, more than a year before the first season was released, I fell in love with the show straight away and knew that it was something very special.
"The episodes are about the everyday, but approached with so 
much fun, humour and imagination." (Image: Instagram)
Why do you think Bluey has struck such a chord?
I think because it's so true to life. So many parents have said, 'This is exactly what it's like!' The episodes are about the everyday, but approached with so 
much fun, humour and imagination. 
And they always have a beautiful 
message without being didactic.
Do you ever get recognised for 
your voice in public?
Never! I have quite a chameleon voice and, as an actor, I slightly alter my 
vocal quality for the character of Chilli. But Dave McCormack 100 per cent just sounds like Bandit, which I love!
Bluey airs daily at 8am on ABC KIDS
"I love that Chilli is so warm, smart and kind, with a wry sense of humour." (Image: ABC)

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