What a huge two years it’s been for Penny McNamee, both professionally and in her personal life.
The Sydney-born actress joined Channel Seven drama Home And Away last year and quickly became a favourite with fans, scoring a TV WEEK Logie nomination for Best New Talent this year. And she’s balanced that with bringing up her now two-year-old son, Jack, with her financier husband of eight years, Matt Tooker.
The star, who plays Summer Bay doctor Tori Morgan, is ready to expand the family.
“I would love to,” she declares emphatically.
“He [Matt] is one of three and I’m one of five, so we’d love to have a few kids.”
While they’re hopeful of welcoming baby number two, there are other priorities.
“Right now, I need to focus on this job and raising my two-year-old,”
Penny, 34, says. “Further down the track, something might happen.”
Penny first found fame as a theatre star. She brought witch Nessarose Thropp to life in the original Australian production of musical Wicked.
Leaving the stage for TV drama, Penny scored a prime part in war drama The Pacific, in which she played a friend of Isabel Lucas’ character Gwen.
She then moved to the US with her husband and landed roles in popular shows Blue Bloods and Elementary before heading home for the birth of Jack.
Reflecting on her four years overseas, Penny admits life sure has changed since then.
“When Matt and I were living in New York, we didn’t have children and I wasn’t working full-time,” she says.
“We were often out to dinner or going to a nice bar for a drink. Now, I can’t remember the last time I did something social.”
“Moving back to Sydney and being in Home And Away, and having a toddler, has been a massive shift in our personal lives. But it’s been a great one.”
As many parents can attest, Penny says life pre-children seemed a lot easier.
“For example, petrol − you get out of the car, you put petrol in the car, you go and pay,” she says. “Now, it’s a 20-minute adventure.
“Everything that’s just a little job in your life becomes a huge activity,” the actress reflects.
Her life may be a constant push-pull with work and home life, but Penny wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Life is busy, but it’s very sweet as well,” she says. “I have a fantastic job, fantastic husband and fantastic child.
“So the days that are stressful − where I’ve worked 14 hours and I’m dealing with a child up in the night − I remind myself that life is pretty sweet at the moment,” she says with a smile. “And I just enjoy every minute.”
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