While Magda Szubanski’s used to being recognised as Sharon Strzelecki from TV’s Kath & Kim, she’s increasingly being stopped for a chat and a photo just for being herself.
“People want to talk to Magda – it’s a nice change!” she explains in the latest edition of Yours.
No single role represents a total reflection of her own personality.
“There are elements that may be similar but I’d say my book [Reckoning: A Memoir] is the only thing that’s completely me,” she explains.
Family is a big part of her life.
“Family’s huge for me! We came to Australia with just our immediate family, so we had no cousins here – they were all in Britain and Poland,” she explains.
“Family as a gay person is a different thing because, unfortunately for many of us, we’re kicked out of our families and we’ve had to create our own,” Magda tells Yours.
Luckily for Magda, her mum Margaret and dad Peter were supportive, but that didn’t stop her feeling extremely nervous about coming out to them in 1992.
“They’re from a different generation – they were born in 1924. But when it came to the crunch and I told them, they were absolutely gorgeous and put their arms around me and held me and told me they loved me,” she recalls.
Sadly, Peter’s now been gone 11 years and Magda’s mum died in September at the age of 93.
“My mum was a very shy, retiring person. She was very funny and cheeky and, while she was undoubtedly strong, she was nervous she’d lose some of her friends [after Magda came out] as they were very traditional Catholics,” she says.
Magda’s voice lifts as she explains she drew formidable strength from her parents.
“They were gutsy and rickety – they weren't bomb-proof but they kept on going and they were staunch. I just felt so loved by them. Don’t get me wrong, they were tricky; I’m not trying to paint a rosy picture – they were a handful, the pair of them! But they were so supportive and they’d beam when they saw you. I’ll miss that,” she admits.
For the full interview (there's much more) and photo shoot with Magda Szubanski get the new issue of Yours - on sale now!