Megan Gale Interview

FOX8_ANTM_Megan pic_BenSymons_South Australian Style Magazine

She’s one of Australia’s most famous faces in modelling. Megan Gale knows all too well about the industry that skyrocketed her to stardom at the age of 18, making her the perfect choice to join the all-star lineup of judges on season 10 of Australia’s Next Top Model (ANTM). Fresh off the plane from filming, the striking brunette gets candid with SA Style about her busy Top Model schedule, her return to acting and the challenges in balancing business and motherhood.

On her return to TV as a permanent judge on ANTM. It feels great! I have guest starred on previous seasons, whether for the challenges or on the desk at elimination, and it was such an amazing experience. To be asked back by Foxtel and the show on a more permanent basis and to be able to guide and mentor the models, is both an honour and a privilege.

On offering advice and mentoring the contestants on the show. Heading in I really wanted to focus on each of the girls individually, rather than mentoring them as a generic group. Each girl has their own strengths and weaknesses and some people are more resilient than others in certain areas. It was important to offer different advice to different girls. The main thing was to encourage them to be professional, keep persevering and to have thick skin, because in this industry it can be extremely daunting. You can get a lot of knockbacks.

On working with ANTM veteran Alex Perry and fellow-model Jennifer Hawkins. It was fantastic to work with Alex and Jen. I have known Alex for years; back when I was going to castings myself as a model. We have forged a close bond and friendship, as well as a professional relationship, so to work with him again has been fantastic. I also loved working with Jen last season. The three of us have an incredible dynamic on the desk. I think the producers picked up on our energy and perhaps this contributed to why I am back permanently.

On motherhood and the all-important work/life balance. It is a constant juggling act and I think any working mum will attest to that. It was important for me to go back to work, but I definitely took my time in the first two years of River’s life, as I wanted to be as present as possible. Now that I live in Melbourne and ANTM is shot in Sydney, it requires me to commute, flying back and forth, which means I have missed out on valuable time with [my son]. River has definitely had plenty of time with my mum and dad – I have a lot of support. When I go to work now I try to look at it in a way that I am not just building my career anymore. I want to contribute to his life so that he has the best opportunities possible. Everything comes back to my son now, which I think is wonderful.

On life in the public eye, and what she chooses to share with her fans on social media. I have always been quite considerate with photos, especially of River. My son is such an important part of my life, and I think the people that follow me want to feel as though they are sharing in a part of that. I am still careful and measured with how I do it, and I also consider what I write [on social media]. Sometimes people can say quite hurtful things, and if I think it is a completely wrong take on me or something I have done, then I feel as though I have a right to respond. Especially if it is written on my personal page. I do try to think about my response, ensuring my tone isn’t perceived as aggressive or malicious and maintains self-respect. Sometimes I may even sleep on it before I write anything.

On her recent return to acting, her role in Mad Max: Fury Road and how TV compares to the big screen. The two are very different mediums. Especially when you compare something like Mad Max to Australia’s Next Top Model. ANTM is very glamorous with stylists and a team of hair and makeup artists. I mean, we don’t just roll out of bed looking like that. Well, at least I don’t {laughs}. Playing a character, in a film such as Mad Max, is all part of a process. It involves building a character from the ground up. In that film my character [Valkyrie] is raw and disheveled, with scars all over her face. Truly the other end of the glamour scale!
I really embraced and loved that – to step outside of the comfort zone.

On her health and fitness regime. It always depends on how much time I have on my hands. Mad Max was filmed a year before I was pregnant and I was on the other side of the world. I also had a lot of time to prepare beforehand. I did weight training, yoga and ran quite a bit. When you first see me in that movie I’m naked, so I knew heading in I really needed to ramp up the health and fitness. I wanted to be strong and powerful in that role, so I kept up the regime.

With Top Model it was a bit different. I wanted to be as healthy as possible as I knew the 10-week schedule would be hectic. After I had River it took my body a long time to get back to its old self, and by that I don’t mean weight, but more so structurally. I waited the recommended amount of time before I tried running again but my body just didn’t feel the same. It was aching in all sorts of places, I felt out of alignment, and I didn’t feel strong. I really had to take my time before getting back into certain exercises. It was only a month out from filming [for ANTM] before I started running again and it began to feel good.

On tips to becoming a successful businesswoman. Firstly, if you are collaborating with someone, it is important to do your research on that particular person. Secondly, get good advice, whether through a business adviser or a lawyer. I remember someone telling me a long time ago, “If you pay good money for good advice, it won’t let you down”. It’s one of the best things you can do. Lastly, whatever you’re looking to do, it has to be something that you enjoy and are passionate about. It shouldn’t just be about making a quick buck, or you ultimately won’t be happy doing it.

On key fashion trends this winter. I’m loving the knee-high boots, always comfortable and sexy and perfect for keeping the legs warm. Also the popular autumn/winter colours, plum and aubergine. It may be an obvious one, but I have been obsessed with purchasing jumpers. You can never have enough and they are such a great staple to refresh your wardrobe every winter.

On wearing Paolo Sebastian to this year’s TV Week Logies and other go-to designers that always make the cut. Yes! I am obsessed with Paolo Sebastian. I also love wearing Dion Lee, Alexander Wang, Alex Perry, Thurley, KITX by Kit Willow, and Victoria Beckham. Oh, and Dolce & Gabbana is amazing. I wore them to the races, always so comfortable.

FOX8_ANTM_BenSymon_ South Australian Style MagazineFOX8_ANTM_Megan-GaleAlexPerryJenHawkins_picbyBenSymons_South-Australian-Style-Magazine

Australia’s Next Top Model
season 10 premieres on
Foxtel’s Fox8, September 20 @ 7:30pm

photos | Ben Symons