Madeleine West has opened up about the "bad time" since her split from Shannon Bennett.

Professionally speaking, Madeleine West is on a high right now. She’s starring in the anticipated new drama Playing for Keeps, which premiered on Wednesday night to widely positive reviews.

But in the midst of all the promotional appearances and interviews, the mother-of-six has been smiling through a particularly difficult time in her personal life: the breakdown of her 13-year marriage to Vue de Monde chef Shannon Bennett in July.

Appearing on The Project on Wednesday night, the 38-year-old was asked by Carrie Bickmore about how she’s been coping following a “rough couple of months”.

“I think the key to going through any kind of adversity in life, especially if you’re in the public eye, is just always practice gratitude, kindness, respect, and love for the people who are in your inner circle and the public at large,” West said.

“Because at the end of the day I think that everyone has everyone else’s best interests at heart and curiosity comes from compassion. And respecting that and saying, ‘Yeah, I am going through a bad time and if you don’t mind extending a bit of privacy then I’ll still do my very best, because I want to be an actor I want to tell your stories.'”

Video via Channel 10

West has been forthcoming about the pressures that having a large family put on her marriage to the Masterchef star, telling Stellar magazine earlier this month that she and the 42-year-old now are trying to reconnect “as friends and parents”.

The couple has six children aged between four and 12: Phoenix, Hendrix, Xascha, Xanthe and twins, Xalia and Margaux.

“Having a public profile, having two high-pressure careers, having a multitude of children – and I will say they are a lot harder to train than dragons – it puts exponential pressures on a relationship, and cracks can form, and things that we don’t necessarily plan in the beginning can happen,” she said.

Still, West and Bennett are focusing on the welfare of their kids first, and splitting time between Byron Bay and Melbourne. And West is enjoying this next phase in her career, playing WAG Kath Rickards in Channel 10’s AFL drama.

“There’s a perception that the WAGs are clawing each others’ eyes out and stabbing each others’ backs. That is not the case at all and that’s not the show we’re presenting,” she told The Project. “And all the actors had each others’ backs. That was really rare and really special.”