She's made a name for herself as an actress, recording artist and TV personality. But now, Natalie Bassingthwaighte is heading back to the place where her career truly took off – Ramsay Street.
Nat's back on the set of Neighbours, where she's reprising her role as bad girl Izzy Hoyland. And when the actress sits down to chat with TV WEEK, she's buzzing with excitement.
"It's amazing!" Nat, 42, says of being back on the show. "It's very crazy. Bringing Izzy back to life is epic!"
It's been more than a decade since her character last appeared in Neighbours.
Back then, Izzy became notorious for wrecking Karl (Alan Fletcher) and Susan's (Jackie Woodburne) marriage and causing endless havoc and chaos with Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis).
The actress says the producers have been asking her to return to the series "probably since I left", but she was waiting for the right time. That came in late 2017, following another role.
"I was coming off the back of playing Gillian in The Wrong Girl," she says. "She's an opposite beast to Izzy – so measured and together. I thought, 'This seems like a good time.'"
While Nat doesn't want to give away too much of Izzy's comeback storyline, she hints the character will have a lot to do with Karl and Susan. And she will hook-up with someone.
"I do have a bedroom scene," she reveals. "I feel like an old hand at it now. It feels kind of normal, which is weird."
Thanks to her recent appearances on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! and The Wrong Girl, TV fans have seen a lot of Nat over the last year. And she may be a star, but Nat is incredibly down-to-earth. She has a wonderful career and a loving family, but she won't pretend life is perfect.
Like other parents, Nat doesn't always feel she has her work-life balance right.
"I have meltdowns like everyone else," she admits. "Sometimes I think it's all too much. Sometimes I think I'm a terrible mother. Other times I think I'm a great mum and am doing the best I can.
"I don't think you ever get it completely right. But as long as I'm still striving for that, that's all I really care about."
Nat has done a lot of different things since she was in Neighbours. But having since returned to the small screen in The Wrong Girl and Network Ten miniseries Brock, Nat has decided that acting is what she's meant to do.
"I love it," she says. "It's what I've always wanted to do. I feel like I've come full circle. Even my husband says, 'I've never seen you so happy.'"
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