Megan Gale has launched a homewares range with Target. I caught up with the model and mum to chat about the range’s “perfect” timing, why she parted ways with David Jones, working on Mad Max: Fury Road and itching to be a Bond girl.
How did your homewares range come about?
It came about back in 2013. Doing homewares and doing a collection was something that had come up a couple of times in the past but the timing was never right. But when this opportunity came about, the timing was perfect – I’d just fallen pregnant and I really wanted to busy myself through my pregnancy and do something creative.
Were you hands-on in the design process?
Yes, very much so. I think you have to be if you’re lending your name and your reputation to something. I can’t obviously craft it by hand myself but I had a very clear idea on the directions I wanted to go with it. I wanted to take all that inspiration from the travels I’ve done over the years and try and translate that into the form of homewares from different cities that I’ve visited and different locations and memories that I’ve got.
You are no longer associated with David Jones. Was it hard to step away after 14 years?
Not really, I think we had a really long relationship. That was almost 15 years. I think I did everything that I could have possibly done there and it was kind of evolving and winding down on its own. I think I had reached a point where I could stay but obviously if you’re an ambassador you have to be exclusive and locked in, which is again not necessarily a bad thing but it is limiting in terms of how much further you can expand yourself, your brand and your business. And that, to me, is where I’m wanting to be going, as opposed to being an ambassador for a store. I want to build my business outside of that. So I felt like we had our good time together and it was time to move on. And they were very supportive of that, which was lovely.
Congratulations on the success of Mad Max. It must have been amazing to work with director George Miller. What was the best advice he gave you?
I think just to really remember your intention as your character and what story you’re telling and what your message is and just to be really present with it. It just allows you to really just get really right down to the bare basics of what your character is and to really focus on that.
What did you learn from working alongside Charlize Theron?
I tried to learn as much as possible. She has just got such an incredible ability to access the emotional side of herself in a split second. There’s this scene where my character and her character reunite after being apart for many years. We did quite a few takes and every time we did a take, she would cry one tear from the same eye every time at the same time during a line of dialogue. Then there will be a cut and she’ll start mucking around … I’m just standing there going, “How are you doing this?” In my head I’m just thinking, “Here I am just working my arse off, and she is just like ‘Bang!'” So, just to study her body language and how she would just get into that and then slip out of it. It was almost like this automatic switch to become someone else. It was really interesting to observe that.
If you could play any role, what would it be?
It’s nothing that would ever get you necessarily critical acclaim but I’ve always been obsessed with Bond films. I love Bond girls. I just love those films.
As a new mum and a successful businesswoman, what is your secret to juggling it all?
Hard work. Good support from your partner. It is a juggling act. River [her son] is my priority and everything else falls in like a jigsaw puzzle around that. I feel like I’m managing it OK but it’s constant work. Hopefully it’s worth it in the end.
What do you enjoy most about motherhood?
I just marvel all the time and I say to Shaun [Hampson, her partner], “Can you believe we created him?” It is really such a miracle. And they’re just a blend of the two of you. I think they’re just such joys in your life. He really helps me put things into perspective. Even if you’re having a bit of an average day, you just get a cuddle from him and everything is wonderful.
Is Shaun a hands-on dad?
He is. He is unreal. We’re both working parents. I’m really proud of us. I’m really proud at how we’ve gone through that early stage of, “We’re new parents, we don’t know what we’re doing, we’re not sleeping, how do we cope?” To getting through that and our relationship has survived beautifully through it. I know it’s challenging not just as parents but also as a couple. From day one, we’ve been great in communicating, and then how we manage to be as hands-on parents as we are and balance work and still make time for us as a couple. It’s not easy and it’s constant work. But I’m really proud of how we’ve done it.
Do you think River will follow in yours or Shaun’s footsteps?
We’re both really hoping that he doesn’t necessarily go into football. I don’t know if I could handle watching him get potentially injured every week. I’ve seen what Shaun goes through when they get injured and it would affect me on a cellular level if it were happening to River… I think the mental side of sports as well, it can be ruthless. Emotionally and mentally it can take their toll on their bodies. But that said, if it was something that he just had an absolute knack for and he had a deep passion for it, I would find it very hard to say, “No, you’re not doing that.” Because I do believe you have to encourage what their natural abilities are and help them realise their dreams as well.
What’s next in the pipeline?
I am starting to look at now auditioning a bit more, now that bub is a bit settled I’m sort of back into work mode and, especially, after Mad Max coming out, it’s a great time to kind of start putting yourself out there for acting roles. That film has really reignited that passion I have for doing films.
Megan Gale’s homewares collection, MG Australia, will be in Target stores from September 10.
WE WENT TO A private home, Tamarama beach.
WE ATE A selection of canapés.
WE DRANK Herbal tea.