"For a girl who wanted to be Katherine Hepburn, this is definitely a turn in the wrong direction," admits Kerry Armstrong.
The acclaimed actor relaxes in a villa in a remote part of South Africa, just two days before filming starts on I'm a celebrity Get me out of here! (The exact location is kept secret, to frustrate the paparazzi)
Once dropped in the camp, Armstrong will be fed ostrich boiled anus and rat shakes. They will hang over a gorge, with predators watching from the trees. And there is a good chance that someone will put their head in a box of live spiders.
Armstrong is not the typical reality show contestant. His film work ( Lantana Oyster Farmer ) has received critical acclaim and prestigious awards.
She was part of the successful ABC drama Sea Change that attracted a large audience. He played Shakespeare and co-wrote a screenplay about a 19th-century Impressionist painter.
Last year, Armstrong's agent called her on the phone. "I got a ridiculous call from people I'm a celebrity wanting them to go to their show," he said. "Of course, let's move on."
But the idea did not stop bothering her. Eventually, she said yes.
"My three children have left home, so I'm an empty nest," she says. "This feels like a third act, I can do it with grace, or I can do it the wildest way I can"
Recently, someone asked Armstrong if she would be "the mother of the camp".
"I can not think of anything worse!" she laughs. "I've done my mimicry and I loved it, but I just want to be completely irresponsible there." Since my boys left, I feel I can be more naughty and shameless "
This year, Armstrong will be 60 years old. He enjoyed his role in the drama of Ten The Wrong Girl and believes that there are more good pieces in the store.
"A big change is taking place with the whole #MeToo and Weinstein thing," she says. "Instead of being a supporter on the side of a man, women are interested in hearing from other women, women who have open hearts and are deformed, irritable and beautiful."
I can do it with grace, or I can do it in the wildest way I can.
On Sunday night, Armstrong will learn who his contestants are, including former AFL footballer Josh Gibson, who has played for North Melbourne and Hawthorn.
"People think, 'Oh, the footballers are tough'," says Gibson. "But football is very different from some of the challenges we will face."
Technically, the location of the program is considered as "the bush" by the South Africans, not as "the jungle". But that does not mean it's benign.
In our nearby lodging, we are warned that we must keep our doors closed, so that a hungry leopard does not pass by. We see snakes in the driveway and baboons outside our windows. ("Do not underestimate those baboons," warns our driver. "They kill leopards, they just sink their long teeth into his neck and he's dead")
Gibson has a weak stomach and fears "tucker trials" more than any other thing.
But he also dislikes the idea of subsisting on rations of rice and beans.
"I made [intense training] camps when I played soccer," he says.
"But at least I was not deprived of food When you're hungry, you do not know what kind of animal you'll become"
I'm a celebrity Get me out of here Here! begins on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel Ten.
The journalist traveled to South Africa courtesy of Ten.