Tammin shares just about everything with her millions of fans – from her occasional struggles with mental health and mothering to her first gut-wrenching miscarriage – on her very successful podcast, Women On Top.
“I don’t do it for some sort of pat on the back, I just do it because I want people to feel better,” she says. “I’ve suffered anxiety all my life. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m stressed or anxious about. It’s just a feeling.”
A doctor recently shed some light on it for Tammin after doing a brain scan and finding evidence of brain trauma, which he believes was the result of having to deal with the pressures of fame as a 15-year-old when she was on Home and Away.
“He said there was definitely a lot of trauma in my brain and that a lot of trauma comes from when you’re young and in the public eye. It’s actually quite traumatic for a brain that’s starting to develop,” she says.
Tammin, who was born in South Africa, was studying at a private school on Sydney’s North Shore when she went for her first-ever audition and won the role of Dani Sutherland on the hit soap.
“When I was younger I really had to have a level of perfection,” she says. “I had to make sure I turned up on time. I had to make sure I knew my lines. Growing up, I always felt there was a level of having to be a certain way … then I left Home and Away and it was another version of that. I would never take it back, but … I’m grateful and blessed to have my jobs. Being creative [however] doesn’t mean you come out unscathed.
“There is definitely a lot of stress. I meet a lot of people in this business, if not a very high percentage, who suffer some sort of anxiety.”
This year has been particularly tough for the former Pretty Little Liars star. Tammin’s husband of 10 years, producer Sean McEwen, almost died after contracting COVID-19. He still suffers memory loss and crippling pain from the virus.
“I thought I was going to lose him,” she reveals. “There were two days – and I remember it vividly – not knowing if he was going to go into a coma. I was afraid if we took him to hospital I would never see him again.”
The terrifying experience was part of the reason Tammin and Sean were so happy to bring their daughters, Phoenix, 7, and Lennon, 2, home to Australia after 15 amazing years in Hollywood.
“Knowing that you can just go outside and feel safe,” she says, explaining that fear always stalks you when you live in LA. “We had guns pulled on us when I was nine months pregnant. The day before we left LA to come to Australia, we heard gunshots.”
It’s Sean and the beautiful relationship they share that makes Tammin feel safe, loved and protected.
“We definitely laugh a lot together, which I think is really important,” she says. “He’s the kindest individual I know. He puts us before himself in every way. He listens and understands. He’s not selfish in any way and I wish I could be more like that. We love each other so much.”
Tammin has just spent two weeks holidaying in Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island with Sean and the kids, after she finished shooting a new rom-com, You, Me and the Penguins, on the Gold Coast. She’s now focusing on her new TV series, The Good Hustle, in Sydney.
Even after all that, she says the thought of having another baby is never far away – despite almost losing her life when her uterus ruptured giving birth to Lennon.
“When they pulled her out, she was an hour away from ending up in my stomach, which means I probably would have died,” Tammin says.
That near-death experience left her considering her options. “People have surrogates, they adopt. I’m not sure how I feel about all those things, but I’m open to it. I definitely wouldn’t have four kids – so no triplets or twins!”