Dining with Jennifer Hawkins.
Model Jennifer Hawkins already has a busy schedule as the face of Myer department stores and designing her Cozi swimwear and JLH shoe range. Now she’s taken on another role, as host of the coming season of Australia’s Next Top Model on Foxtel. The 29-year-old and I spoke about the challenge of filling Sarah Murdoch’s shoes in one of the most coveted gigs on entertainment television, her wedding this June to long-time partner Jake Wall and their baby plans.
Do you feel pressure as the new host of Australia’s Next Top Model?
No, I think the best thing to do is give yourself goals on what you want to achieve throughout the series, and if you achieve those goals, that is all you can do. Because some people will really like [the change], but some will really hate it and that’s cool.
Have there been any fights on the show?
There will definitely be some TV drama. It’s nice that [fellow judges Alex Perry and Charlotte Dawson] have an open and honest opinion. It has made me do that as well – maybe not as aggressive [laughs], but I’m definitely honest.
You’re seen as Australia’s golden girl. Is it hard to maintain that image?
No I’m not and I don’t try to be! I’m not perfect all the time and I don’t try to portray that, either. I’m just living life.
What is the best part of your job?
That it’s always different. I’m never bored with it.
What is the worst?
The hours. Sometimes I’m like, ”Come on”, and then I think, ”I’m in a good position. Just suck it up.”
Is it frustrating when people pry into your personal life?
It’s not frustrating. I think the thing you have to keep telling yourself is that you have put yourself in this position. I remember my dad saying, ”You’re either in it or you are out of it,” and it’s so true, so you can’t whinge.
Can you reveal any details about the wedding?
We are trying to keep it as private as possible, just because you want to spend that time with family and friends and not have the craziness [of media] around … It’s definitely glamorous but it’s intimate. Deciding the guest list was the hardest thing; it took us weeks. I was like, ”I’m going to cry, I want everyone to come!”
Is Jake involved in the preparations?
We go to the [planning] meetings together. Obviously, he is not really into all the decorating and stuff but he has an input, and acts like he is interested, so that’s good [laughs].
What’s happening for your hens’ night?
I don’t know yet. We are tossing between things, but I really want it to be crazy. I don’t want it to be tame at all, I want to let loose.
Any honeymoon plans?
We are going overseas, to Europe, and then we will go to an island somewhere. I’ve never had three weeks off. I might go insane but I’m very excited. The most important part of our honeymoon is the island, where we will have seven days of sipping cocktails and doing nothing. I’ll probably come back and people will say, ”Wow, Jen’s pregnant,” because I would have put on weight [laughs] but I don’t care.
Do you plan to have children in the near future?
It’s pretty much down the track. We are not looking at that at all … I’m not ready yet, it’s just a busy time. I think there will be a time when you go, ”Yep, I’m ready.”
If you weren’t doing what you are now, what would you do?
I love designing my shoe and Cozi range so much, I would do it even if they didn’t have the price tag. Otherwise, I would want to be a personal trainer and work out all the time. That would make me do it!
WE WENT TO Sake Restaurant & Bar, Southbank, Melbourne.
WE ATE Edamame; kingfish sashimi; sashimi tacos; and a selection of sushi.
WE DRANK Sparkling mineral water and sake.