Chloe Hayden may only be 25, but she's already ticked off a number of bucket-list items for most people: she's an author, an actress and now she can add podcaster to that list.
The Heartbreak High star has teamed up with Nova Entertainment to create Boldly Me, a podcast that sees Chloe interviewing people, who, just like her, are living life boldly as their true selves. Guests include Grace Tame, Nedd Brockmann, Deni Todorovic, Dylan Alcott, Tim Minchin, and more.
Chloe, who received her autism and ADHD diagnosis at the age of 13, is known for her incredible work as a disability rights activist, with the star telling Yahoo Lifestyle, "It is championing and showcasing the voices of people who are living bold and living their authentic, colourful selves. And people who are different and who are doing incredible things because of that difference, not in spite of them."
She added enthusiastically, "We've literally got so many wicked people from all walks of life – international guests, local guests, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people. We've got like just so many different variations of the existence of human beings which I think is so cool and so exciting."
When it comes to her favourite guest, Chloe shares that she was so surprised to be able to get Tim Minchin on the podcast.
"He is like my actual favourite human being in the entire universe, and I spent the entire time crying," she joked, adding that she thought there "was no way he'd come on my podcast".
The star added, "I was terrified, because I'm autistic, I don't know how to have conversations with people and now I have to have conversations with people that I adore and admire and look up to and I'm like, this is wicked, it's so exciting and also like low-key very scary."
Speaking of the importance of her role as Quinni in Heartbreak High and her other projects such as her book Different, Not Less and now this podcast for other young neurodivergent people, Chloe shared that it's "massively important".
"One of the reasons why it was so important, both for me to make sure Quinni's character was accurate, but also to do this podcast and honestly, everything I do, is because when I grew up, I never saw myself represented," she explained.
"And it massively negatively impacted my life and my mental health. So making sure that other people grow up, not having to go through what I went through and that young people can see themselves is so so vital to the mental health and just ensuring that these young people feel like they are supposed to exist and that they have a reason to be here. It is so important, which is such a massive reason why we've done this podcast."
Chloe shared that when she first received her diagnosis, her psychologist told her parents not to "expect much from her".
"They thought that I was never going to be able to live independently or have a job or do most things. And I've always wanted to be an actor, I've always wanted to be a performer," she said, sharing that she has surprised herself with where she is now in her career. "I've always wanted to do something but I never believed it would come to this."
"It's been so overwhelming and so humbling to actually see the progress that I have made from you know, not just from that doctor's appointment when I was 13, but even from a year ago," the star added.
Boldly Me is available on Spotify, the Nova Player, or wherever you access your podcasts.
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