Debra Lawrence reveals who made her take the leap from drama to reality TV

‘I’m a total fangirl!’
Debra Lawrence Hell's Kitchen

At 60, Debra Lawrence has never been more in demand as an actress, having recently won the Most Outstanding Supporting Actress Logie award for her role in Please Like Me.

So what on earth made her take the leap into the world of reality TV with Hell’s Kitchen?

“There were three very important words,” she tells TV WEEK.

Marco, Pierre and White.”

Debra, who says her biggest creative outlet apart from acting is cooking, has followed the celebrity British chef’s career from the outset.

She even owns a copy of his first cookbook, White Heat, which she bought when it was first released in 1990.

And she says there was no way she’d pass up a chance to work alongside the man she dubs a “genius”.

“I love his story, I love his commitment and his discipline and how he treats food,” she says.

Debra loves the work of British chef Marco Pierre White.

They say don’t meet your idols but it wasn’t even remotely a letdown meeting Marco. He’s just great.”

And Marco wasn’t the only person Debra was excited to meet when she first got to the Hell’s Kitchen set.

“Our family (actor husband Dennis Coard, 65, and their children Grace, 24 and William, 17) are all fans of The Chase Australia. So when I met Issa Schultz I was a total fan girl – we just love him in our family.

“Plus we’re huge sports nuts in our house – we love soccer, cricket and rugby. So I was also a fan of “Big” Willie Mason and Jess Fox and Candice Warner. Really, it was all a great bunch of people to be with and we all bonded in the first 15 minutes.”

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