RFDS’s Emma Hamilton: ‘Being a single parent by choice comes with great joy’

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Emma Hamilton discusses her upbringing, career and the men who have influenced her.

Occupation: Actor
Age: 37
Relationship status: Single
Best known for: The Showtime drama The Tudors

Emma Hamilton: “I believe in the value of marriage and one day I hope to exchange vows of my own. I hope the right man is out there for me.”

Emma Hamilton: “I believe in the value of marriage and one day I hope to exchange vows of my own. I hope the right man is out there for me.”Credit:Daniel Asher Smith

My paternal grandfather, Emlyn, grew up among the coal mines in the Welsh valley and made huge sacrifices to move his family to Australia for a better life in the 1950s. He worked as an engineer and would invent amazing objects in his shed.

My maternal grandfather, Kevin, came from similar humble beginnings. He started in the mail room with a company at 15 and remained there until his retirement, becoming general manager. He was a long-time member of a caravan club and we would spend long summers by the beach on trips. He was a very loving man and actively involved in many community groups.

My father, John, is my hero. Born in Wales, he is a surveyor and entrepreneur with a strong work ethic – he built our family home from scratch. I often wonder if I would have become an actor if it wasn’t for his entrepreneurial spirit, and I certainly wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for Dad’s support and guidance. He still lives with Mum [Susy] in the same family home on the Mornington Peninsula.

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My brother Taylor is 3½ years older than me. We have a close bond. We don’t look alike, but I have been told by friends who meet him that suddenly I make sense because our personalities are similar.

When my son Oliver was born by C-section last year, my brother held my hand throughout the birth. He was my rock. Oliver was six weeks premature, and when he couldn’t stay with me in the operating theatre, Taylor went with him and held his tiny hand.

My teen celebrity crush was Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I ended up auditioning to play Keanu’s wife twice in my career, and it’s probably a good thing those roles didn’t come my way because I’m sure I’d have made a fool of myself.