Paulini opens up on ‘tough year’ after bribery charge

SINGER Paulini Curuenavuli has opened up about the darkness she experienced after pleading guilty to bribing a government official to illegally obtain a drivers licence.

"There were times when I was like 'oh my gosh' … I didn't want to get out of bed. But you just have to kind of fight through all the doubts," Paulini told Confidential.

It was during her time in the lead role of stage musical The Bodyguard last year that Curuenavuli was embroiled in the controversy.

Paulini Curuenavuli had many negative thoughts during what she described as a “tough year.” Picture: Justin Lloyd
Paulini Curuenavuli had many negative thoughts during what she described as a “tough year.” Picture: Justin Lloyd

"You get thoughts in your head and kind of go, 'how am I going to perform tonight', but you just get up there and do it," the 35-year-old said.

"Last year was a tough year, but you make mistakes and you move on. Was I just going to stay down there, or keep moving forward?"

Moving forward she is, recently landing a part in the iconic disco musical Saturday Night Fever which will premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on March 29.

She was charged in June last year. Picture: AAP Image/Jane Dempster
She was charged in June last year. Picture: AAP Image/Jane Dempster
She was caught during the time she was playing in The Bodyguard musical. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
She was caught during the time she was playing in The Bodyguard musical. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Former X-Factor contestant Natalie Conway and seasoned musical theatre performer, Nana Matapule will both join Paulini to complete the ensemble of singers in the show.

Admitting she has never actually seen the original movie starring John Travolta, Paulini said: "I'm so glad that I did get another opportunity to be on stage."

"For me, it's about the songs, I just love the Beegees. They're songs that my parents grew up listening to and songs I love to sing," she added.

Conway, a singer-songwriter and international DJ who has recently released her first single, said performing in a musical was something she never imagined herself doing.

 

Paulini will now star alongside Nana Matapule and Natalie Conway in the iconic disco musical Saturday Night Fever. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Paulini will now star alongside Nana Matapule and Natalie Conway in the iconic disco musical Saturday Night Fever. Picture: Justin Lloyd

 

"A musical was never on my radar. I've always been straight up and down club music, electronic music, so it's kind of a surprise to me that I've found myself doing this," Conway said.

"I've never done a musical before, so I'm looking forward to it as a new challenge and another feather in my cap."

For Matapule, 30, who most recently appeared in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, is thrilled to cast as the only male ensemble singer alongside Paulini and Conway.

"You work so hard and train for so many years to do what you do best and when you're given that opportunity I think you've just got to run with it because you just don't know when the next job is."



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