reality tv

"Nothing can prepare you." Pia Miranda on what competing on Australian Survivor is really like.

On Wednesday night, critically acclaimed actress Pia Miranda will return to our screens in a different way – as a reality TV contestant.

Miranda, now 46 years old, played the role of Josephine “Josie” Alibrandi in the timeless 2000 film Looking for Alibrandi, which for an entire generation of Australian women will forever be part of their formative years.

After the successful role, Miranda travelled to New York where she studied drama at the Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School.

“I was young and I had had a really big role and I felt that I was still working on my craft so I decided to go overseas where I could do it peacefully,” Miranda recalls of her decision. “It was a really great experience and I’m so glad that I did it.”

But Survivor: Champions vs. Contender will show a whole new side of Miranda, who has continued her career as a successful Australian actor in the nearly 20 years since her breakout role.

Watch the promo video for this year’s season of Survivor below. Post continues after video.

Video by Channel 10

Her preparation for the physically demanding competition, which sees successful Australians compete against a group of underdogs in Fiji, was no small task.

“I prepared by just doing lots of physical activity, running, swimming, jumping off high-diving boards and doing lots of yoga,” she told Mamamia. “I tried to go in physically fit but then I also tried to put on a bit of weight before I went in so I had a bit to lose.”

She says her inherently competitive nature helped her on the TV show, admitting: “I think I’m in an industry where you need to compete to get jobs, so it’s definitely something that I’m comfortable with.”


Miranda has two children, Lily, eight, and James, five, who she says are big fans of the show. In fact, unlike Looking for Alibrandi, which she admits she doesn’t allow her children to watch due to “one of the bedroom scenes”, her kids are excited to see their mum on the television.

“My kids love Survivor and they love watching it, so they were super excited I was going to be on their favourite TV show but it was definitely hard to let them know that I’ll be gone for a while.”


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The confused face of someone who has no idea what they are in for! [email protected] starts tonight! 730 pm on @channel10au #survivorau

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Miranda tells Mamamia it was the emotional struggle of being away from her family that was the most difficult part of being on Survivor.

“The emotional stuff for me was more challenging,” she admits. “Not so much the lying and the cheating, but just missing my family was really, really tough.

“You have no contact, you have no information about what’s going on at home. So sometimes you think the worse and that’s really hard to mentally get through.”

So what got her through those tough times? “The friendships you form,” she says.


“A lot of people are in the same boat, so just talking to other people about it is really helpful. And then just trying to do it one day at a time is what I did when I was there. First day was the toughest, so once I got through the first day, I just went ‘Okay, just take it one day at a time.'”


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Sooo this happened… ✌[email protected] Starts July 24 on 10 #survivorau

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Although Miranda describes herself as a “superfan” of the reality show, she reveals “it was so much harder than I expected”.

“I’ve seen how bad the elements can be and nothing can prepare you for what playing Survivor is really like.”

Miranda agrees with how her fellow tribe-member Luke, who has played before and forms part of the Champions team, describes the experience: “He tells people to go through a cold shower, fully-clothed, with the lights off for three days and don’t eat and that’s what it’s like playing Survivor.”

Indeed, the experience changed her perspective on life when she returned home. “I think as people we’re always looking for something else, or what can I do next and what can I have next but what I realised is what I have is perfect and I don’t need anything else.”


Although we’ll have to wait to see how Miranda’s journey on Survivor unfolds, she tells Mamamia she has no regrets.

“I think it’s one of those things that if you think too hard about it you might question what you did or how you did it. But at the end of the day, I wanted to go in and play because I love the game of Survivor so much.

“So I don’t regret playing the game. Because I really tried.”

When asked if she would compete again on Survivor, Miranda hesitates before answering, “Probably not”.

“But you never know,” she adds.

As for what’s next, she continues to act, currently filming season three of Mustangs FC for ABC.

‘Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders’ will premiere on Network 10 on Wednesday July 24 at 7.30pm.

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