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Toni Collette opens up about sex, love and marriage

REUTERS/Neil Hall

Toni Collette opens up about sex, love and marriage

Toni Collette opens up about sex, love and marriage

MiNDFOOD catches up exclusively with Australian-born actor, Toni Collette, on her new series ‘Wanderlust’, 15 years of marriage and the joys of an Australian Christmas.

Nothing fazes Sydney-born actress, Toni Collette, 45, whether she’s playing a woman possessed, such as her last role in Hereditary, or in her current Netflix series, Wanderlust, in which she plays a therapist, frustrated with the sexual lull in her marriage which leads the couple to look outside the marriage.

In her off-screen life the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress lives in Los Angeles with her husband, musician Dave Galafassi, with whom she is raising their children, a daughter, Sage, 10, and a son, Arlo, 7.

This is a married couple who need some spice in their life (Wanderlust). But the way they go about it is quite unothordox. Do you see this story as a cautionary tale?

I don’t know if it’s a cautionary tale. I think it’s a story about some really brave people trying to save their marriage and step outside what is expected of people and outside societal norms and expectations. I think that takes guts. But ultimately, that kind of overarching idea of the story to me is someone who is waking up to their very existence and figuring out how they want to live.

Would you recommend going about one’s marriage the way this couple does?

To each to their own (laughs). You can’t generalise in life. I think the show will start so many conversations about that.

How have people reacted to it so far?

It’s been varied. Some people find it really confronting sitting there watching it with their partners, because it’s so honest and so raw. And it’s very much about things that people think and feel very deeply but don’t often talk about because it’s too confronting. Once you open that can of worms, you really can’t put it away.

I’m not going to ask you about your own sex life

(laughs)

But between you and your husband, do you agree how to raise your kids and do you show your kids when you disagree?

My husband and I are both very hands on and I think more than anything, whether or not we are in agreement about certain things. You have to be united in what they see so they are very clear about what the boundaries are and how we exist together.

After 15 years of marriage, what have you learned about relationships?

That you need to grow together, keep communicating and stay open to each other, support each other and have each other’s backs. Be open to the adventure, really.

You play a therapist in Wanderlust. Do you believe in therapy?

Yeah absolutely. I think it’s too easy to go through life without self-knowledge. I think it’s probably a more difficult path to who you are and what your existence means and how you really want to use your time on planet earth. It’s brief and it’s all we have. I think therapy is a great way learning about you. And ultimately, if you understand yourself, then you will be able to understand the world in a deeper way.

One of the themes in this woman’s life is about self esteem in her middle aged years. Can you talk about that?

I think it’s changing. I think there is more of an awareness and a respect for people as they get older, and as you get older yourself, you realise that it’s all a total crock. One of the things that I liked in the show was that you always assume adults have got it together, and surely therapists, they must have it together. But in this, it seems that her kids seem more relaxed with who they are and more accepting and the adults are kind of scrambling to get themselves into a place of comfort. So I liked that very much.

People make a big fuss about sex but it’s a normal part of life

Yes, it’s such a normal part of life, but everyone shies away from it. I personally think that real intimacy isn’t just sex, it’s everything that you bring with you into that place where you join with somebody else and share that moment. And in order to do that, you have got to know yourself, you have got to be responsible for yourself, you have got to accept yourself and most people don’t do all the hard work to get to that point.

Was it taboo when you were growing up?

No it wasn’t taboo, it was normal, which it is. But everyone has a different relationship to it and we are all fed certain things in the media as well and told who we should be and how we should dress and how we should feel and what we should aspire to in lots of aspects in life, not just sex.

What about motherhood makes you proudest?

I love when they are open with me and feel comfortable enough to be themselves and say what they feel. That actually makes me the proudest. They are little humans and they might not have had as much experience as us, but they do have their experiences and they have their opinions. So when other people, friends of mine, notice that and are effusive about it, that always blows me away.

Where is Christmas this year?

Christmas is always in Australia and we watch the Christmas carols the night before and we have presents in the morning and a big breakfast and spend a lot of the day swimming in the ocean, and it’s a lot different to the Northern Hemisphere. I love it.

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