Shortland Road and Superstar Treasure Island star Courtenay Louise on her battle with an consuming dysfunction

Superstar Treasure Island 2022. Video / Equipped

From Shortland Road to Superstar Treasure Island – actor Courtenay Louise will get a actuality test and tells Penny Lewis about certainly one of her largest challenges.

Shortland Road’s Courtenay Louise says she’s an “all or nothing” sort of particular person, so when the decision got here asking her to compete within the third collection of Superstar Treasure Island, she did not hesitate to say sure.

Her plan was to disguise how a lot of a menace she could possibly be. “I look a sure method and individuals are going to have a look at me in a sure method and assume that I am unable to do something, however that may work in my favour,” she says.

As soon as the competitors started, the 28-year-old knew her technique wasn’t going to work. “I’m such a aggressive person who from the primary problem I had no probability of staying beneath the radar.”

Shortland Street actor Courtenay Louise on her personal and professional challenges.
Shortland Road actor Courtenay Louise on her private {and professional} challenges.

“Earlier than CTI I performed a reminiscence sport with my household, and I bought so indignant. They mentioned I used to be going to make such ridiculous TV. I mentioned I used to be not going to be like that – however I most likely am,” she laughs.

Filming wrapped just a few months in the past however what occurs on the present, which premieres on TVNZ 2 on September 5, is secret. What viewers will not see is an look from Louise’s Shorty character, “wild and loopy” model-turned-PA, Monique Strutter. “Hell no, I’m so excited for this. All of the [social media] feedback concerning the launch announcement mentioned, ‘Courtenay’s going to final 5 minutes’ and ‘What the hell is Monique doing there?'”

Louise cannot say an excessive amount of about her expertise on CTI, however reveals she loved the teamwork, finally. “At the beginning I’m in a really male-dominated staff and I do not actually know what my strengths are – and I’m questioning myself and who I’m. I had been coaching and I used to be up for this problem, however then I actually struggled with discovering my voice and what my energy was.”

Though Louise ready for the competitors intensively, not everybody did. “There have been individuals who rocked as much as the present with out watching it or had any concept. I used to be in disbelief that anybody might put themselves in a state of affairs like that. I watched each of the sooner seasons back-to-back and listened to all of the podcasts. I believe Shannon Ryan [from season one] was good. She was very cool, calm and picked up. I might inform she was very mentally sturdy. Chris Parker was nice. His strategic sport was superior and that was an epic win [in season two].”

The actor says she knew she could be good with the bodily challenges. She performed soccer, First XI hockey and did athletics at college, and equestrian for eight years. “I did very well in these sorts of issues, and I like swimming. I did fairly a little bit of swimming and skilled earlier than CTI – but it surely did not actually repay.”

Courtenay Louise filming at the Celebrity Treasure Island location.
Courtenay Louise filming on the Superstar Treasure Island location.

As to be anticipated, CTI life could possibly be exhausting. Possums had been a difficulty, and the climate was hell. “We had been moist the entire time. You are careworn, you have not eaten, you do not sleep, you are simply making an attempt to work collectively as a staff and you have all these totally different voices talking and you are like, ‘Shut up,'” she laughs.

Louise has all the time been a targeted particular person and knew at 5 years previous that she wished to be an actor. “Although performing is so troublesome and it is a battle and you have to hustle, I’ve all the time identified to my core that I’ve to be an actor,” she says.

She grew up on a farm in Ōropi, the eldest of 4 youngsters. She and her siblings are primarily based in numerous components of the nation now, and mum Charmaine and stepdad Alan nonetheless dwell within the Bay of Lots. They are a shut household. “Christmas and holidays are actually particular.”

After ending college, Louise began modelling and labored in retail and hospitality to avoid wasting for drama college in Australia. She met her fiance Chris Learn, a enterprise marketing consultant, after they labored collectively at former Auckland bar Tyler Road Storage. They have been collectively eight years. “We’re very fortunate, we have got an excellent relationship and we’re simply actually good buddies. It is very simple.”

There are not any marriage ceremony plans but. “Two years in the past, once we bought engaged, it will have been an enormous, white marriage ceremony in the most effective venue, very extravagant. Now every little thing has modified. I wish to have a home and children, so spending some huge cash on a marriage is simply not a precedence anymore. Watch this house – we would elope someplace. My mum’s going to hate me.”

Courtenay Louise plays receptionist Monique Strutter on Shortland Street.
Courtenay Louise performs receptionist Monique Strutter on Shortland Road.

Louise jokes now, however she wanted her mum to assist her overcome certainly one of her largest challenges after years of personal ache. At odds along with her outward confidence, Louise didn’t inform anybody of the physique insecurity she developed when she began modelling. She developed an consuming dysfunction, which noticed her starve herself, binge-eat, purge, and over-exercise. “I struggled with my physique picture for years and years, evaluating myself to others and never feeling adequate.”

No one knew about it. “Chris most likely had some concept, as a result of each time I might exit, I might say, ‘I do not look good on this’ or ‘I look terrible’ and complain about my physique, however he did not know the drastic lengths of how insecure I used to be.”

In Australia, Louise accomplished a part-time course on the Sydney Theatre Faculty in 2015 after which moved with Learn to Melbourne in 2016, the place she auditioned and earned a spot in a full-time course on the Howard Fantastic Appearing Studio. “Finding out was superior, however as soon as I graduated, I used to be auditioning and that was difficult. There was a interval of years the place I used to be simply getting instructed no.”

The fixed rejection performed a component in stoking Louise’s dysfunction. “It was very isolating, and it took over an enormous a part of my life. I needed to preserve this facade as much as everybody whereas I handled this factor.”

Chris Read and Courtenay Louise are engaged, but no wedding date is set yet. Photo/Instagram
Chris Learn and Courtenay Louise are engaged, however no marriage ceremony date is ready but. Photograph/Instagram

Her restoration got here when she and Learn moved again to New Zealand to dwell her household in late 2018 and he or she lastly instructed them what she was going by. “They had been shocked and in disbelief.

“I spent 5 months at house on the farm. I might go grounding each morning – strolling outdoors with no footwear on, and simply really feel an actual reference to the earth and it sounds so wish-wash, however journalling each single day, yoga, mediation – these issues healed me. Being house and being showered by unconditional love and being round animals, getting this love and acceptance the place I did not really feel I wanted to be anybody else, or I wasn’t adequate.”

Louise is at pains to level out that what labored for her will not work for everybody. “The troublesome factor is that I can inform you what I did, however as a result of everybody’s journey is so totally different, everybody’s restoration is totally different.”

Louise first opened up about her consuming dysfunction earlier this yr when she joined Shortland Road with a everlasting function as Monique. “I struggled with it for thus lengthy and I’ve now bought this platform the place I can share my story. I do not know if it helps folks, but it surely lets them know they are not alone.”

The winner of Superstar Treasure Island will take house $100,000 for his or her chosen charity. Louise’s charity is Voices of Hope, an organisation co-founded by actor Genevieve Mora and creator/speaker Jazz Thornton to interrupt down the stigma of psychological sickness. Thornton received the final season of Dancing with the Stars however could not swap any profitable ideas as a result of the secrecy round CTI meant charities weren’t revealed till the castaway bulletins.

Louise selected supporting Voices of Hope after seeing Mora on TikTok. “They’re two younger ladies altering the world one step at a time. They’re telling their very own private tales and being trustworthy and weak and sharing a message of hope, telling folks it is okay to not be okay. I believe it is so essential for the youthful era as a result of what we see on social media has filters and we’re absorbing it so shortly. I do know my social media seems flawless – I have not but realized the way to navigate being genuine on there. I believe an enormous a part of Superstar Treasure Island, a actuality TV present, is that folks will get to see the true me.”

The place to get assist
Whether it is an emergency and also you or another person is in danger, name 111.
Consuming Issues Helpline: 0800 2 EDANZ / 0800 2 33269
Anxiousness Helpline: Name 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)
Melancholy Helpline: Name 0800 111 757 or textual content 4202
For extra info and assist, discuss to your native physician, hauora, neighborhood psychological well being staff, or counselling service. The Psychological Well being Basis has extra helplines and repair contacts on its web site.

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