Rebecca Gibney is one of Australia’s most loved actresses, having starred in a number of iconic projects and received multiple awards across her four-decade-long career - including the prestigious Gold Logie in 2009.
But in 2021, Rebecca did something she’s never done before: compete on a reality TV show.
“My son would have disowned me if I said no,” she admits. “I actually had said no, and when I told my son, Zac, he was like, ‘Are you insane? I watch all of those shows, I can’t believe you said no!’.
“I replied, ‘Dude, I don't cook. I’m not a MasterChef. I'm not a whiz in the kitchen’ and he goes, ‘Yeah but you can learn’.
“I was worried I’d make a complete fool of myself and he said, ‘Yeah, but you're a good person and people will see that. People will get to see the side of you that they don't know and that's a good thing’, so that was nice.”
Rebecca, who currently stars in the new romantic comedy miniseries Under the Vines on Acorn TV, went on to describe MasterChef as “the hardest thing” she’s ever done.
“But also one of the most rewarding because I did things that I never thought I was capable of doing,” she continues. “And to meet those incredible people, not just the other contestants, but the people behind the scenes.
"The MasterChef judges, they are incredible, and also the people working on the show, the support you get, I just loved every single moment.
“Even though I was covered in hives for three and a half weeks and I was in a state of heightened adrenaline the whole time, it was just amazing because we all shared it together.”
While Rebecca says she is “thrilled” with how her MasterChef experience turned out, adding that the biggest surprise for her was how much the producers cared for the contestants, she reveals that there has been plenty of other reality TV shows that she’s turned down in the past.
“I've been asked to do Dancing with the Stars, and I mean I might even do that one day because I had so much fun on MasterChef, I might reconsider,” she says.
As for any other competition-based programs, you can probably count Rebecca out.
“SAS no, Survivor no, I'm A Celebrity no because I couldn't eat any of that. I think I've reached the pinnacle, I’ve done the best one and I don't think I'd need to do another,” she remarks.
Speaking about her upcoming ventures, it’s understandable why the Back to the Rafters star might not have the time to appear on a second reality TV series in the near future.
“Right now I’m developing a show where I get to play two characters,” she details.
“I’m also attached to a jungle production in Australia, I’m developing a film with a female New Zealand writer, I’ve just had an email about another show that's happening potentially in New Zealand, and I start filming another show in February that’ll be coming up very soon.
“So not much, I’m not busy at all,” she laughs.
For her latest project, Under The Vines, Rebecca has both a starring role as Sydney socialite Daisy Monroe and a credit as executive producer.
“I’ve always been interested in that,” she admits.
“With this, it was more about just being involved in all of the processes like, who’s the crew? What is the music? What is the feel? How are we going to create this town? What does that sound like? It was a very female-centric thing, it was lovely.”
The new series follows Daisy Monroe and Louis Oakley, a disbarred London lawyer played by The Crown’s Charles Edwards, in what Rebecca describes as a ‘fish out of water’ plot.
“Their lives are pretty much falling apart and they inherit a failing vineyard on the South Island of New Zealand and they both have to come together to try and make things work and they pretty much hate each other on-site,” she says.
“So it's one of those light-hearted, funny, joyful kind of romps in the South Island of New Zealand set in a vineyard with wine.”
Under The Vines is currently streaming exclusively on Acorn TV, with new episodes released weekly.
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