Celeste Barber reveals the 'worst' thing she's ever done: 'It was nasty'

The Aussie comedian's new show Wellmania arrives on Netflix March 29.

·5-min read

Aussie star Celeste Barber is stepping into her biggest role yet: playing the title character of Liv Healy in Netflix’s Wellmania, an eight-part TV series she has also executive produced. The comedian, 40, shot to stardom with her tongue-in-cheek parodies on Instagram, famously recreating celebrity social media posts in an awkward way.

This new comedy, based on the non-fiction book Wellmania: Misadventures in the Search for Wellness by Brigid Delaney, is right up her alley. Her character is a big-shot food journalist who ditched Australia for New York City, but finds herself stranded in Australia after the tolls of her fast-paced life come back to bite her.

L: Celeste Barber looks stunned in Wellmania. R: Celeste Barber wears an oxygen mask in Wellmania.
Celeste Barber's Netflix show Wellmania is quirky, witty and very Australian. Photo: Netflix

Armed with the task of getting healthy to pass her physical to qualify for her US green card, the ‘human tornado’ throws herself into the latest wellness trends, including a hilarious colonic scene where Liv gets ‘hosed out’. Unfortunately for Celeste, she tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she knew exactly how her character felt during that moment.

“I had a colonic, and it was horrible. It was the worst thing I’ve ever done,” she tells us, before adding that it was “not pretty” at all. “They stuck a hose in my bum…it was nasty. I mean, I felt like I was walking on clouds after and I felt pretty amazing.”


The star has a great relationship with JJ Fong, who plays her best friend Amy Kwan. During Celeste’s onscreen colonic scene, JJ was tasked with crawling underneath her chair, getting extremely close and personal with the ‘hose’.

“I knew JJ well [before filming],” Celeste laughs. “I just don’t think you ever know anyone well enough to be analysing the faecal matter that comes out in a tube, you know what I’m saying?”

The pair had lots of fun during the shoot, with the star noting that JJ was a “good sport” and tackled anything that was thrown her way.

JJ Fong and Celeste Barber in Wellmania, jogging in Bondi
The series shows Celeste's character tackle a number of wellness activities. Photo: Netflix

Getting naked with Miranda Otto: ‘I lost my mind’

The quirky script attracted some big A-list stars, with Lord of the Rings’ Miranda Otto taking on the role of a wellness guru with a twist viewers will adore.

Celeste isn’t afraid to bare all on camera, in fact, she recently recreated Hunter Schafer’s racy Vanity Fair Oscars outfit, posing on Instagram wearing just a feather duster covering her breasts.

It comes as no surprise that she added a cheeky nude scene in Wellmania, but says she “lost her mind” having to get naked and vulnerable with Miranda.

“Absolutely loved every second of it, that was a complete dream come true to be able to film with Miranda Otto! I lost my mind. I had a moment when we were filming, like just doing different setups where I had to take myself away and had a little cry,” she recalls.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m working with Miranda Otto’.”

Miranda Otto in Wellmania
Celeste was blown away when Miranda Otto signed on. Photo: Netflix

The star gushes about how incredible it was to work with the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star, saying she was extremely ‘kind, amazing and professional’.

“I went back [to set], and they were like, ‘Cool, clothes off’. And I was like, alright, here Miranda, cop this,” she quips. “[She’s] one of the greatest actors in the world. So I was kind of led by her actually…it was awesome.”

The entire show was filmed on location, which resulted in extremely long days and “delirious” cast members. Although Celeste admits she loved to “mess around” with her fellow cast and crew members, she remains tight-lipped on what she can share.

“What happens on set, stays on set,” she tells us. “I’m gonna keep those close.”

Celeste Barber as Liv in Wellmania standing on a glass table
Sydney serves as a character in the show, poking fun at Bondi's wellness culture. Photo: Netflix

What Celeste adores about her character: ‘She is all in’

Celeste has built an empire on her comedy and ability to connect with fans all over the globe. She has over 9.4 million Instagram followers, with Hollywood stars such as Courteney Cox, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Coolidge in the mix.

It makes sense then, that her character Liv is an exaggerated version of herself. The food writer is bold, just like Celeste, but she says Liv takes it one step too far.

“I believe Liv moves into the absurd [world] and I stay in the bold world. We’re both kind of loud, out-there characters,” she explains. “I love this character mainly for [the] reason that she just did what she wanted. She’s so bold. She’s so boots and all, she throws everything at a wall and whatever sticks, she just goes with it.”


The podcast host adds that she was ‘lucky’ to have a confident and headstrong sister while growing up. Her tight friendship with older sister Olivia ended up influencing the way her character was written.

“I got a little bit of my sister and put her in this character. She is quite brave…and will try anything, and is up for anything. So I was pretty lucky to have a cool sister like that,” she adds.

Celeste lights up when she talks about the ‘message’ that Wellmania pushes, the idea of not caring what anybody else thinks. She says that people need to be confident and do what works for them, because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to living life.

“If you’re going to do it, just go all in. And that’s what I love about this character, she is all in.”

Wellmania will be available to stream on Netflix from March 29.

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