I meet Dannii Minogue in a swanky West End hotel bar, reminiscent of both a James Bond and David Lynch movie set where I see the serene Dannii moving fluidly in front of the camera. Looking stunning with delicate features and a warm, charismatic glow. Not only known for her music, she also acts, has her own fashion label and is currently starring alongside Gary Barlow, in Let It Shine, a new BBC TV series centred around the upcoming Take That musical.
I sit down with Dannii over a cocktail to chat all things Let It Shine, X Factor, her clothing range plus her ambitions to have dinner with Baddiewinkle.
You began acting from a young age what drew you towards performing?
Growing up I was always greatly drawn toward performance especially acting. I remember watching ’Grease’ and absolutely adoring Olivia Newton John’s performance of ’Sandy’. It was then I decided to give acting a go, so I took my photograph to a talent agency and applied. I was very fortunate to be signed.
Not many people are familiar with the knowledge that you performed the role of ’Lady Macbeth’ and starred in the Vagina Monologues, what were these experiences like ?
I performed as Lady Macbeth at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was a beautiful experience to play such a strong female so early on in my career. I loved staying in Edinburgh as well, it was such a fantastic city with an exceptional nightlife culture. We walked through the botanical gardens and spent the evenings enjoying the restaurants and social scene. Playing in the ’Vagina Monologues’ was also a very rewarding experience, and I enjoyed exploring issues of feminism within the play.
Can you tell us more about this new show your starring in alongside Gary Barlow, Let it Shine?
The show is centred around the search for five boys to star in Gary’s new musical Let It Shine which is about his life in Take That. We don’t want perfect impersonators of the band we want people who are unique with charisma and great energy. I’m really looking forward to working with all of the contestants, and interested to see how the journey of the artists unfold.
I think it’s going to be an excellent show, that will capture an audiences attention quickly.
You have been on the judging panel for many talent shows such as the ’X Factor’ both in Australia and the UK, what drew you to working on these shows ?
I think I decided to judge on these talent shows because I can really empathise with the contestants as a performer myself. I know how tough the industry can be, so being able to help someone with the dream to become part of such a tedious industry is very fulfilling. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you see an artist come in with potential and you are able to guide them into fulfilling their true talent as a performer.
You also have your own clothing range, tell us more about your designs?
I design clothing for petite women, I feel that there isn’t much of a range of clothing for them in the fashion world. My designs are classical and comfortable. I love wild catwalk shows and couture when watching out for trends and personally looking at fashion. However when designing my own range I prefer to design clothing that is less ’avant-garde’ and offers more stylish comfort.
Who are your style icons?
I love old Hollywood icons such as Sofia Lauren and Audrey Hepburn. Their style is so sophisticated and classic. I believe Coco Chanel changed fashion for women everywhere, she is truly iconic.
As you have judged many talent shows, what makes someone talented or stand out from the crowd ?
I think someone who is open and isn’t afraid to show their vulnerabilities. It’s how they manage these insecurities, that is exciting to me. Obviously the usual traits that make someone stand out such as charisma and openness makes someone desirable to watch.
If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?
Probably Ellen Degeneres, she’s hilariously funny! I would love Baddiewinkle to join us as well, she’s an older lady around eighty eight years old who has a crazy following on her Instagram for being so stylish and adventurous.
Who is your hero?
I would definitely have to say my sister Kylie, I’ve always been inspired by how she has developed her career, and how supportive we are of each other.
What is the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
I spoke to Chris Evans who once told me to not be scared to get things wrong and make mistakes. Be open to challenges, have fun with what you do and continue to practice your craft!
Where is the best place to eat in Australia ?
I would have to say Melbourne, it is the food capital of Australia. There is a lot of delicious cuisine there. They also have a lot of fresh food markets with local produce.
How do you keep in such good shape ?
Well I have a six year old, who definitely keeps me in shape. When I’m not working I like to keep my skin healthy by not wearing makeup. I also love skincare from different countries such as Korea.
Let It Shine begins on BBC1 at 7pm on Saturday.
Interview by Georgia Packham Anderson
Photography Carlo Zambon
Fashion Mekel Bailey
Art Direction Jon Revell
Hair Christian Vermaak
Make Up Sarah Mierau
Production Assistant Tamara Borodaneva
Location St Martins Lane Hotel