He’s long been one of our most versatile actors, starring in everything from Home And Away and Neighbours to Foxtel’s acclaimed prison drama Wentworth.
But until he fell in love with his wife Sonya, there was one thing Bernard Curry hadn’t done – run away to join the circus!
‘At the time, Sonya was working as the venue and stage manager for The Famous Spiegeltent,’ says Bernard.
‘She said: “My life is nomadic and I’m living on the road. Do you want to come?” So I ran away with the circus, which was quite a romantic thing to do. We did two years travelling the world together with the circus and had a wonderful time.’
Bernard admits he was captivated the second they met.
‘It was 2005 and the Spiegeltent was erected on the forecourt of the Victorian Arts Centre,’ he says. ‘My brother Steve [Curry, also an actor/comedian] was doing a comedy show there with Jimeoin and I went along with another friend of ours, [actor] Sullivan Stapleton. I saw this girl – Sonya – by the door wearing a top hat with a funny little tutu and thought she was an absolute knockout.
'I was single and looking for love, but I couldn’t raise the courage to talk to her. I found myself back there another night and, on that particular occasion, I’d had a little bit of Dutch courage.’
‘Bernie’s opening line was “I’m Steve’s brother,”’ recalls Sonya. ‘I thought: “Steve’s such a lovely guy, so I’ll let you finish your conversation.”The rest is history.’
For their first date, Bernard took Sonya to his local Thai eatery in Melbourne.
‘We were the first people to arrive and, before we knew it, we looked around to see we were the last people there,’ says Bernard.
‘We’d been so deep in conversation all night,’ says Sonya, adding with a laugh, ‘and we’ve never run out of conversation since!’
In May 2010, the couple welcomed their first son Fox into the world, exchanging vows eight months later in their ‘perfect wedding’.
‘It was in the backyard of our family beach house in Rye [on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula] with about 140 guests and a jazz band,’ says Sonya. ‘It was such a great day. Fox was our little ring-bearer.’
Today, Bernard, 44, and Sonya, 43, are doting parents to Fox, now eight, and their younger son, Banjo, six.
‘Since having kids, we’re even more of a united front,’ says Sonya. ‘We’re best friends.’
‘We’ve also spent almost four years living in LA, that was a tough time for us,’ says Bernard.
‘We went there with an 11-month-old baby, which was crazy in itself, and we ended up having Banjo in the States.
‘But we supported each other through it, and grew as individuals and as a couple. Now we’re both enjoying success.’
Indeed, while Bernard portrays the ever-conniving officer ‘Jake the Snake’ in Wentworth, Sonya is the operations manager for the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne.
‘We’re both grateful we found each other,’ says Sonya, who knows exactly how she and Bernard will one day spend their retirement. ‘We’ll be grey nomads,’ she says.
‘We’ll get an RV campervan and travel around Australia,’ he agrees.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.