Amy Hart From Love Island Interview With Absolute
This time last year, Amy Hart was enjoying a traditional Sussex Christmas with her family, performing musicals in her local Worthing amateur dramatics society and working as Cabin Crew for BA. Little did she know that the year fast approaching was going to see her catapulted to fame, fall in love for the first time, become a household name across the country and be hailed as the subject of one of the Greatest Moments of TV 2019. It is without doubt that Amy’s ‘it’s worth a shot’ audition video for Love Island ‘19 was the catalyst of a life changing experience and now as our Sussex girl reflects back on her year, Absolute Magazine Editor Victoria Marie Emerson chats with Amy about life after the villa, mental health, social media, fame and all that goes hand in hand with it.
As a proud Worthing girl, tell us about what regular life was like before the show?
I’ve always enjoyed living in Worthing. My Dad’s quite well known in the area and I’ve always been referred to as ‘’Ian Hart’s daughter’. That’s all changed now and he’s ‘Amy Hart’s Dad’ which is hilarious. I was an air hostess, so although I was often working away, I used to make the most of my time in Worthing when I was there. I had quite a normal life. Well, as normal as you can be when you’re very dramatic. When I wasn’t working, I used to do pageants, mainly in the UK where I won Miss United Kingdom, but then I went to America to compete and won Miss Beautiful International.
Being an intelligent, well-grounded girl fully aware that the price of “fame” comes at a cost, why did you give up your stable job to enter Love Island?
I applied for Love Island just on the off chance. I applied for it thinking I probably wouldn’t get it as one hundred and fifty thousand people apply each year.
Was it the first time you ever applied?
Yes it was the first time I’ve applied and I didn’t think I’d get it, so then when the opportunity came up and I knew I was on the show, I honestly thought I would go back to my job afterwards. It was only the night before I went in that I found out that that wouldn’t be feasible.
Going out the show and leaving my stable jobwas a tough decision but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I knew was never ever going to come up again. They will always need people to work as crew a plane and I received a good enough CV that would allow me to go back into flying straight away if I wanted to. Luckily it all paid off. I might need to get a proper job again a some point, but hopefully this will last.
What was the appeal of Love Island?
The boys I have dated in the past have been so horrible and so I literally just wanted to meet someone special, which I think I proved by leaving when I did. I just thought it would be a fun way to meet someone.
Did you truly believe you’d found love?
Yes did. I’d like to fall in love with someone now and then think ‘oh no I wasn’t’. Curtis and I coupled up on day two and were so strong. I thought itwas easy, almost too easy. And then obviously it all went wrong. But I did think I’d found love.
Do you have any regrets?
Obviously, I did think for a long time that I wish I hadn’t met him, or, I wish I’d fought more for our relationship. But I think everything happens for a reason. When you’re in there it’s such a bubble and it’s so full on that you think you’re really fighting for this person. Whereas when you come out the villa you realise you were only together for four weeks. However, it is different in there as you’re together every minute of every day. But I had no regrets because everything that happened led up to me leaving the way that I did, and I think that’s one of the most shocking celebrity moments of 2019. I didn’t have any regrets.
Did you get enough support from the TV producers?
Yes 100%. They were absolutely amazing. I was in ‘psych’ twice a day. They’re always there when you need them and when I told them that I wanted to leave, they were so supportive. I said I wanted to leave, but I want to do it my way.
There wasn’t any talking you round?
No, they knew I was done by that point. I was seeing the psych twice a day and I think when you get to that point, it’s time to probably go home. But, everyone’s so amazing in there and the aftercare is great too.
Are you still in contact with them?
Yes loads of them, but my chaperone the most.
Since leaving the villa, has your career path taken the route you envisaged?
I don’t think we realised how busy we were gonna be. I had thirty seven gigs lined up straight away it was so very manic. It was hard work and tiring but I know how lucky I am. When your job’s being you, you don’t get a day off. My psychiatrist said ‘You are like an iPhone and every time you’re out performing your battery is wearing down. You have to recharge it with some time off, doing something like reading or something completely unrelated. Otherwise, you will run out of battery’.
How would you define your career title? Would you say you’re an influencer now or TV personality?
A bit of both. I think they sort of merge into one. When people ask me what I do, they obviously haven’t watched Love Island and so I won’t tell them I was on the show. I just say I’m an air hostess for BA. Then one of their friends will reply ‘You’re Amy from Love Island’ and then it’s really awkward as I’ve lied. It’s really embarrassing! I don’t really know how to describe what I do now…TV personality influencer? Public figure?
Expectations must have been high, with a race for capitalising on that window of opportunity, bagging the best gigs. How did that effect your mental health?
I always think I’m not doing enough or I’m not doing well enough and it’s really hard because you’re comparing yourself to your mates. However, I feel that I’m very lucky for what I’ve got. I could’ve done loads of club PAs but it’s not me. Can you imagine? “Good evening Norwich – have a great night, put your hands in the air”. It’s not me. Whereas I filmed backstage at Wicked the other day and the PR team said to me they could tell how much I loved it when I talked about it. Passengers used to say that to me about musicals and say that when I talked about them my face lit up. So I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to expand on that interest by creating behind the scene YouTube videos for the big West End productions.
I’m my own biggest critic. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough, but that’s my irrational brain. But then when I start to rationalise it. There were thirty six of us on the show this year and I’ve been picked for X Y Z when nobody else has. I’m very lucky so I just have to learn to rationalise stuff.
You have a great platform for advocating mental health. How are you using that platform?
I’ve obviously been quite open about it. I’m part of Heat Magazine’s campaign and there’s videos of me online talking about mental health. I just think being open about it is so important. I looked on the comments on the Heat YouTube campaign videos saying things like ‘Oh is this all she can talk about?’ but then other people commented saying ‘No it’s good that she’s talking about it.’ Mental health doesn’t discriminate.
My main issue is online safety and the effect trolling has on mental health. Instagram and other such platforms don’t do enough to combat it. I shared some screenshots of messages I’d received on Instagram, reported it and I got told that it didn’t go against their rules and guidelines. These were horrendous messages. Everyone thought that I was saying that I was upset by the messages, but that wasn’t the case I’d just spent twenty-four hours in Scotland with seven amazing kids who had mental health problems. A lot of them have been trolled online and victims of cyber bullying. My concern is that they were receiving messages like that. I can shrug it off and it’s fine but they can’t and it’s so damaging. I think the monitoring online is done by a computer and that’s the problem as it just scans it. They need a team of people, real people.
I was getting death threats from fourteen year olds, but you can’t find them because they just block their account. They turn it off and make new ones. If you block someone, they just make a new one and troll you again. So perhaps they should allow one account per IP address.
You’ve selected Chestnut Tree House as your main charity. Tell us about that.
As a family, we’ve always known about and supported them. My Dad was a trustee so we’ve always been brought learning about their work. We went and looked round the hospice after coming out of the villa and I knew it had to be my main charity. This year I’m going to the Snowman Ball where there will be an auction lot where you can go out for dinner with me. I’m just trying to do little bits at the moment as my calendar is so busy. But next year when it all calms down, I will be able to do a lot more with them. I’ve been given this platform and I want to use it to it’s full potential.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to launch a career in the spotlight?
Nobody can prepare you for it – it’s not what you think it is at all. I had an easy life and when I was on my last few flights, I remember thinking ‘Oh I’m never going have any stress in my life now.’ When I came out of love island I quickly learnt that that wasn’t going to be the case. I was once again living out of my suitcase. I literally take my suitcase out, repack it and then go out again. When being you is your job you never get a day off. I’m not moaning as I know I’m very fortunate. I think a lot of my friends understand now what it’s like and they all say ‘I could never ever do this.’ It’s hard work but it is fun as well.
You have had a crash course in social media management. What advice would you give to someone looking to grow their following?
I spoke to Molly Mae a lot about this in the villa. She said consistency is key. Post often with great pictures, keeping it relatable. I could go out and buy loads of designer stuff but my followers, many of whom are very young, will then think ‘Oh, well I can’t buy that’. So I like to buy a lot of high street stuff to keep content relatable. People like to see you in your posts. I get loads of feedback from people saying, ‘You’re so normal’ and ‘I love seeing your normal life.’
What factors do you take into consideration when choosing which brands you are an advocate for on SM?
I just try and respond to my fans; a lot of my fans are very young. When I did a meet and greet in London, their mums paid for them to be there. I therefore feel like I owe it to the mums who let their kids support me to be a good role model, so I won’t promote online gambling and all that sort of stuff. I tend to look at who the other ambassadors are for the brands and try and work it out if it actually fits me. A lot of the time if I’m asked to promote something, I’ll ask if I can use it for two weeks first to see whether I like it or not.
What has been your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment since leaving the villa?
I’ve got two. Either being on Loose Women when I walked out and the voiceover said ‘Your panel today… Amy Hart’ or having my own range with In The Style.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I don’t know as it’s such an uncertain business and I think that’s what I’m struggling with the most. I’d like to still be working in this industry, but I’d love my own TV show about musicals. Even if I wasn’t working in mainstream media, I could just be like a theatre mascot working for theatres and productions.
What keeps you still living in Worthing?
My life in London is so crazy that on my days off, I want to get away from it all. I’d be down here on my days off anyway so I might as well stay. I’m very lucky because I’ve got a lot of friends who live in London that are adamant that I don’t stay in hotels and that I stay with them. That said, if I’m out really late, I don’t like staying at a friends so I book hotels a lot.
What are your top three restaurants in Sussex?
My top three restaurants are as follows: Casa Don Carlos in Brighton and Casa Ciros and Food in Worthing.
Top three bars?
Molotov and Manuka in Worthing and Bohemia in Brighton.
If you had a day to yourself, to do anything Sussex, how would you spend it?
I love bowling and I love mini golf at Harbour Park over in Littlehampton. As a family we go there every single Good Friday for fish and chips and golf, even though my brother and I are now twenty seven and twenty four.
As a well travelled individual, where is your favourite destination?
If you would’ve asked me three weeks ago I would’ve said Vegas, but I have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with Dubai. I love it there. We went to the Atlantis for five days and we didn’t leave the resort because there were twenty three restaurants and we stumbled upon a different beach or pool every day. It didn’t feel like we hadn’t left!