Just one week after the death of his sister Connie in September last year, actor Samuel Johnson said sharing her story had been both a blessing and a curse.
“Going public was not popular – most of all with me,” he said of the decision to launch charity Love Your Sister and raise funds for breast cancer. “Connie met a lot of resistance.”
But eventually, “bit by bit, every family member started to realise this was bigger than us,” he said.
Now, as an Australian of the Year nominee, an award that will be announced tomorrow, Johnson has shared that the bittersweet reality of sharing Connie’s story felt particularly difficult in the days after her death.
While immediately after Connie’s death, he appeared positive, enthusiastic and proud, he admitted in an interview with Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30, “it felt really uncomfortable”.
Listen to Mia Freedman’s interview with Samuel Johnson. Post continues after audio.
“Monetising her death was the trickiest part,” he said.
“I always struggled to monetise her illness, let alone her passing. At that point you don’t really want to shake the tin, but it was very important that we do that.
“She wanted to use her experience to help raise as much coin as possible for our country’s best scientists.”