Folks We Love with Stephanie McIntosh
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you've come to arrive here.
Well, I’m an Aussie actress & singer, born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. My career started in Australia around the age of 13 professionally. At 17 I got “my break” on Aussie Tv show ‘Neighbours’ and got signed to Universal music. It was a busy time. Over the 5 years I was on ‘Neighbours', I released my debut album ‘Tightrope’ had my own network show called ‘The Steph Show' & was recording, promoting and traveling between London and Aus. In my mid twenties, I finally decided it was time to follow the vision and dream and move to LA to have a crack. It was and has been different professionally for me here, but one thing for sure is, LA gave me the greatest gift of all and that is my now 3 year old daughter, Milla!
Who's in your family? Ages? Names?
Our three year old daughter Milla McIntosh Hieatt, My baby daddy :), Pete Hieatt 41, I'm 32 and our dog Dexter Mac, 8!
How did you choose your kids names?
We found out the sex as early as you can, so we knew we were having a girl during my pregnancy. We came to love the idea of having a name that started with either an H or an M to roll with mine and Pete’s last names, as she takes both of them. (Hieatt & McIntosh)
I’ve always loved Mila (like Mila Kunis) but felt it was a little inappropriate seeing as though we are not Russian ha! Around 6 months pregnant, I had heard of Milla (like Camilla but no Ca) and instantly we both felt it was it. When she was born we never thought twice about changing it! It felt just right.
Between Lake arrowhead, CA & Los Angeles, CA
Actor / singer / part time PA for now (& hopefully business owner in the very near future!)
What was it like to work with Olivia Newton John? Were you a mega fan of Grease before that happened?
Working with Liv was like being on vacation!! She has been a very close friend of my mums and our family’s since they were 15! She was at Milla’s Birth which was very special, there to support my mum who flew over for it! So to be on set & working with someone that is like family was a lot of fun and a real comfort!! Her daughter Chloe was in the film also, and we grew up together. So it was a family affair and some of the best memories I have!! Both on and off the set. We all had the best time. And yes, I grew up watching Grease of course!! But growing up so closely with Liv, I could separate her and Sandy. In fact I never saw her as Sandy in real life. Just part of the furniture!
What's on your manifest board?
It is professionally driven, as personally I couldn’t ask for more! In saying that, I always want to create new opportunities, to discover, to inspire with my friends, family & in my work!
The Oscars are primarily on there, is that so cliche?! Pics of actresses/ actors/directors I admire & desire to work with etc, especially my two faves Julia Roberts & Jennifer Lawrence. Just to work full stop in the profession I love so much is on there. I also have a business idea I’m very passionate about & want to get off the ground, so that’s on there, with my research for it etc. To play a character that sings, be either TV or film!! Would love that opportunity again. I had meditation on there and now both Pete and I are official vedic meditators, so that’s nice to tick!
What is your favorite book?
The four agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz would be my all round favorite, although a fast read, one that teaches so much & is all about personal growth, one of my fav topics! I also love The Optimist written by one of my best friends, Sophie Kipner! And I’m currently reading GRIT written by Angela Duckworth. It’s brilliant!
How do you unwind?
A good massage is my ultimate & hands down favorite way to unwind & treat!! I also love yoga, meditation, a glass of wine or cocktail if it’s that kind of night. Binge watch our favorite TV shows &/ or watch a movie!
What is it like to start over in a new country after having so much success in Australia?
Initially I came here thinking it’s goong to happen and happen quickly again. But in actual fact, it's slow and can be very daunting. For me personally, it’s been a lot harder to translate over here than I initially thought it would be and of course timing is everything. So although challenging & very frustrating at times, I also have learnt to trust my process and feel very grateful for the wisdom and growth that comes with that and appreciate how lucky I was in Aus. It’s exactly what you said, you are actually starting over! So although hard to compute at times, having worked so much and then question why it’s not happening the same way or at the same speed again, it is a whole new realm. It took a bit of time to understand that, and it can be hard not doing what you love at the times, especially having worked so much, but it allows for life to happen. I got to have my beautiful daughter and also get a chance to live under the radar and privately (I never knew how much I needed that). The positive is, having done it all before means I know I can do it all again! Just have to trust the divine timing and hard work, when it’s meant to be, it will be, and accept that that was then and this is now!
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
We enjoy being pretty low key most of the time & love to chill as a family. Watch a movie, age appropriate for Milla, go out for an early dinner with her to a restaurant. She does LOVE to swim. So that’s a big one in the summer, be pool or beach! She can spend hours in the pool, which naturally allows us all to be together swimming and in the sun, which we love being both Aussies! We are all water babies.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Right now Milla says, “I love you with all my heart” could be to me or to our dog, whoever it’s to, it’s with all her heart.. !! She has me wanting to laugh & cry in the same breath all the time!
What is something you wish you had known before having kids?
I actually love that it is the unknown before having kids. Because you know nothing until you go through it/something anyway!! You hear the love you’ll have, or how challenging it can be etc, but there is no comprehension of that until you meet your own baby, you're own child. You have to truly go through it all, to be able to hear or know anything!!
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
As a teenager, I actually did dream of being both on the Aussie TV show ‘Neighbours’ & being signed to a record label & having a singing career!! So having been lucky enough to have done that in Australia, I’ll forever feel so grateful & so fortunate!I
I always dreamt of having children, having my own family, so I feel very fortunate to be a mum now, greatest role ever!! & of course.. I dreamt of one day winning an Oscar & being nominated at the Grammy’s.. haha Oy vey!! You know just to keep it cas. No biggie!
In my wild, unapproachable dreams, I also fantasized about being a professional tennis player, playing in the grand slams! We can safely say, that shall always be a dream!!
What are some things you really believe in?
Speaking with integrity and following through with your word.
Be grateful for everything you DO have
Don’t sweat the small stuff… it is all SMALL stuff!!!
Timing is everything..
Where do your passions lie?
As long as I can remember, film, music, acting, singing, dancing- the creative world, have truly been my passions! Hence wanting to make a career out of them. When working in these mediums, or doing them for pleasure, it’s pure joy & never feels like work!! I love them so much, it’s ridiculous!
I also love tennis! Skiing! My child?? Can I say that??
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids? How do you stay connected?
It has, for sure. Definitely for the better. A deeper growth & connection for both of us. We were thrown in the deep end, as we had been together only a lovely short 6 months when I found out I was pregnant. We had only been living together a few months, but having kids together was something we spoke about early, however we didn’t expect it so soon haha. So we got hit with “life” fast and hard. But it’s been perfect & devine & 100% made us the unit we are today. I have never enjoyed communication, but Pete has helped push that out of me & as cliche as it is, that has been our best tool to stay connected, even on the more challenging days! Milla was the best thing that ever happened to us individually & together, and the untraditional timing for both of us, couldn't have been better!!
What are some of your favorite life lessons you've grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
Communication IS key !!
Authenticity first & foremost. Being authentic with yourself and everyone in your life & around you always!
To own and take responsibility for my behavior & my decisions.
To remember, I’m responsible for how I feel, no one else can make me feel anything.
Don’t take the past into your future. We are often so conditioned as humans and almost always just reacting to life. Instead, be present & aware and consciously make every choice.
Don’t hold so much meaning over things..the small stuff really is SMALL!
Last but not least… Nothing ever is personal!
What do you wish you could've told yourself when you were a teenager?
Everything above!!!! Particularly, don’t take things personally, it’s never about you!! And to LET IT GO!!
What do you find most challenging about being somebody's parent?
Being responsible for their livelihood. We are all they know initially, we are their example to life! It’s a massive responsibility. So I always try to be conscious & know who Milla really is, rather then projecting who I am, my lens on life on to her all the time. Remembering although she’s only 3, she will feel and see things differently to me or anyone else. Ultimately we are her back story and we are majorly influencing her, on how she will see & do life! It’s terrifying but undeniably the best thing in the world!! I guess it’s really all about balance.
What are 4 things you can't live without as a parent?
Patience, much love, cocktails & sleep!!
Stephanie McIntosh is a well established Australian actress and singer, having grown up, in and around the entertainment industry with her whole family all having been & in the business. Stephanie’s first professional acting experiences included appearances in the film The Wilde Girls alongside Olivia Newton John as well as various Australian kids' TV show’s, including The Legacy of the Silver Shadow and Short cuts.
She became best known for her role as the popular character, Sky Mangel in the Australian TV show Neighbours. While filming Neighbours, Stephanie signed a 5 album deal with Universal music Australia and kicked off her music career with her debut single ‘Mistake’. It debuted on the ARIA Charts at #3, and was certified Gold in the first week of release, with shipments of over 35,000 units. This was followed by the release of her debut album ‘Tightrope’, entering the ARIA charts at #4.
Network Ten, capitalizing on the popularity of Stephanie, co created with Steph, “The Steph Show” which was a fly on the wall, documentary/ reality television series and was a lead into ‘Neighbours’. The cameras followed Stephanie as she recorded her debut album, shot scenes on Neighbors and the actress’s incredibly busy life on & off set.
Stephanie toured the UK to promote her album, & teamed up with her brother, fellow actor/ singer, Jason Donovan, doing various British TV interviews, for their parallel careers on Neighbours. Steph moved to Los Angeles having landed some roles in such films as Liars All & Red Hearing and now resides in Lake Arrowhead, CA with her daughter Milla and boyfriend Pete Hieatt creating all new possibilities to come!