EXCLUSIVE: Bonnie Sveen reveals how love helped her cope with life in the limelight

“Once Nathan came into the picture, fame didn’t bother me as much.”
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With several successful small-screen roles under her belt and one eye firmly on Hollywood, Bonnie Sveen’s acting career appears unstoppable.

Ever since she hit the sandy shores of Home And Away in 2013 playing feisty surfer Ricky, Bonnie has held a firm place in the hearts of TV audiences.

However, getting used to the celebrity culture did take a little while for the laid-back country girl from Tasmania.

Chatting to TV WEEK, Bonnie, 29, credits the man by her side with helping her find her feet and feel secure. Bonnie and her boyfriend, assistant director Nathan Gooley, have been together for several years.

The two met when Bonnie was coping with being thrust into the public limelight in Home And Away.

As soon as Bonnie and Nathan got together, rumours started swirling about an engagement and pregnancy – neither of which has happened yet.

“Once [Nathan] came into the picture, it just didn’t bother me as much,” Bonnie says of the media glare.

“I think there was someone who was sharing it with me, who was able to, not necessarily protect me, as though I needed it or that’s what he was doing, but you do definitely share it.”

Bonnie is also realistic about fame, knowing it can be fleeting.

“I’ve always thought it’s a thing that comes and goes,” she says. “It has in the last six months been fine, and you know, I’m not the top of the A-list food chain.”

Spending time with Nathan, as well as her close-knit family in Tasmania, allows Bonnie to escape from the glare of the entertainment industry.

When she’s not acting, Bonnie loves nothing more than returning home to Tassie and supporting environmental causes such as the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

“You know there’s somewhere you can go home to and people who know you,” she smiles.

Her relationship with Nathan has gone from strength to strength. The duo recently worked together on the short film she directed, Riley.

“It’s a good relationship because I know his strengths over mine,” Bonnie explains. “I don’t think we tread on each other’s toes so much, but instead we’re just free to have discussions and work through everything.”

In addition to the short film, Bonnie is also currently appearing in the second season of Channel Seven’s The Secret Daughter alongside Jessica Mauboy. She portrays confident country musician Layla, who has fallen for city hotel heir Jamie (Matt Levett).

Bonnie says she feels like she’s in a really good place with her career.

“I’m happy,” she grins. “I do feel like I’ve established myself.”

That self-confidence and assuredness has also come from not putting too much pressure on herself to achieve certain goals, and not worrying about her upcoming big 3-0 birthday.

“At the end of the day, things happen when they happen,” she shrugs. “A big part of it is actually just accepting, ‘This is me now.’

“It’s not where I thought I would be, but then look at how much has happened and how much I should be proud of.”

That doesn’t mean Bonnie is about to slow down, though. She still has plans to head overseas to try her luck in the United States later in her career. Plus, there are several upcoming Australian projects she’s keen to be involved in.

“Hollywood could be on the cards somewhere down the track, but it’s not something I’ll sell my guts for,” she reveals. “Life quality and happiness and being true to yourself comes first.

“Then, when everything is aligned, you get the opportunity when you’re most confident and happy.”

Bonnie also relishes working on homegrown stories. She’s happy to focus on that for now, rather than chasing acting roles overseas.

“My three-year plan is to continue to work on our own stuff, because I do believe that we’re storytellers,” she says.

“And there’s a whole other world out there that you need to be ready to step into to reap the rewards of sharing your vision and your imagination.”

She’s also keen to one day create her own feature film.

“That would be great,” Bonnie enthuses. “We always have these high expectations of ourselves, and then when it happens it’s like, ‘Oh, my God − I can’t do this.’

“But no, that’s where I want to be, if I’m honest.”

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