Kimberley Crossman: the star’s strength

A quick turnaround from her tropical honeymoon, actress and host Kimberley Crossman is gearing up for another World Vision 40 Hour Challenge. She catches up with Metropol Deputy Editor Nina Tucker about adapting to the media environment, managing mental health, a dream wedding, and doing her bit to make the world a better place.

An energetic, glowing, and just-married Kim connecting from sunny Santa Monica made a stark contrast to the gloomy Canterbury rain. She says she has nothing to complain about.
On the surface, she’s right. Except there is always more than meets the eye.

Despite a glorious life as a newlywed to cameraman Tom Walsh, a commitment to feel-good philanthropy, and a new season of family-favourite Snack Masters just out, Kim is still healing from a miscarriage, facing the everyday exhaustion of depression and anxiety, and navigating a brutal media landscape.

IMAGE: Jonny Scott Photo

Her exceedingly positive and ‘Type A’ personality would confuse you on the latter. “As a creative, it’s a very stressful time at the moment,” the TV star explains. Laying the groundwork for their future selves, Kim and Tom are using the morphing industry to their advantage. “We’re planting seeds for things to come, and I think that’s a good way of looking at it,” Kim smiles. Instead of focusing on rejection, Kim and Tom, who jump between the United States and New Zealand, are constantly cooking up new ways to entertain. “Marrying someone with the same moral compass and work ethic has been a real joy.”

Their wedding on April 29 took the same path, as traditional wedding processes were replaced with those that better served them. A picnic sought relaxed conversation, alongside Kiwiana food because “that’s what we wanted to eat,” plus an early night made the day their own. “I’m not good after 6pm. It might be great for the guests, but I would be asleep,” Kim laughs. The pair also toasted their “little blueberry,” who was lost during a miscarriage in November.

It was like a television set, running as smoothly as a day at work, with everyone playing a part. “We ran the wedding like it was a production, everyone had a place to be at a certain time,” Kim explains. “I get to feel like a princess almost every day I go to work. It was more important for Tom and I, that everybody felt like they were really special.”

On her honeymoon in Fiji, Kim spoke with communities relocating their homes and livelihoods to avoid the rising sea levels. It made her commitment as a World Vision ambassador and the upcoming World Vision 40 Hour Challenge on 21-23 June all the more paramount. This year, the focus is on fighting the climate crisis by re-greening communities in the Asia-Pacific region. The rising sea levels Kim saw in Fiji hammered home for her the need for decisive action on climate, and the importance of World Vision’s work to restore forests and help protect children and communities. “Anything that we can do to slow down climate change and help the communities that need it the most is really important.”

In addition to the challenge, Kim is pursuing an initiative to get 1000 girls sponsored globally through World Vision, saying it’s inequality that breaks her heart the most. “I grew up with a beautifully blended and really supportive family. It’s really difficult to know that there are so many young women growing up without opportunity and support.” Seeing the difference World Vision makes, and the influence her career has afforded her, Kim prioritised how she would leave a mark on the world. “You can’t just sit and feel sad and sorry for it. You have to take action. I’m in a really fortunate position to have a platform and I feel a real sense of responsibility to do good with that. Working with World Vision feels like a joy and a dream.”

Even for those unable to commit to travelling to support communities in need, Kim explains behind-the-scenes effort remains. “Everywhere I have visited with World Vision has been sponsored and cared for through the generosity of Kiwi families. There’s an element of Kiwi pride there.” Through an almost 10-year relationship with the organisation, Kim has proved it’s an ongoing commitment. She has visited World Vision’s work in Jordan and Uganda, India, and visited with sponsored children. Kim explains the constant realisation of “how necessary it is and how much need there is.”

It’s a big duty to hold for Kim, who also fights her own battles. “It’s daily work, keeping my thoughts positive. That, for me, will be for life. My brain wants to dip into the negative. It wants to pull everything I do apart.” She adds that a lot of shame stems from letting herself get to such a bad mental place. While it would be so much easier to give up, Kim says her work ethic is what she’s most proud of. “My biggest demons are my own, and my biggest achievements are becoming my own as well.”

Through social media and her podcast Pretty Depressed, Kim has become an advocate for opening up space for good discussions on hard topics. Kim decided to share her and Tom’s miscarriage on social media, to create awareness and navigate the path alongside others on the same journey. It became an incredibly educational experience. “Tom and I were still testing positive for a significant amount of time post-miscarriage.”

She explains that being vulnerable online is about being real. Kim wants to show that life isn’t always as it looks underneath all the joyous posts. “Usually when I talk about something, I’m talking about it after I’ve gone through it. But it felt really fraudulent to be sharing all this good stuff when really, we were both struggling.”

Using her podcast for accountability, every week Kim gets an expert to discuss different mental health topics. “[Talk therapy is] my therapy,” she says. “It’s not one size fits all though.”
Poetically, she reveals the three things she can’t live without are curiosity, generosity, and humour. “That’s my family, my husband, and what I do as a job.” It covers all the bases.

A high-functioning and overachieving personality, Kim finds she wants to experience everything she can. “From a very young age, I always felt like that idea of ‘life is too short’ has been drilled into me. I don’t want to have any regrets. I don’t want to have not eaten something or not been somewhere,” Kim reflects. Her pet tarantula ticks a few of those boxes, too.

In closing the interview, I asked Kim if there was anything else she wanted to add. The response was a tender-hearted tribute to the South Island. “We love the South Island and we would like to
live there.”

Join the movement
Join the World Vision 40 Hour Challenge and together we can re-green our future. Visit to sign up or donate.

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