Singer's personal reason to get her kit off
For Ella Hooper, this time it was really personal.
The musician, best known for fronting rock band Killing Heidi, is regularly asked onto celebrity-based reality TV shows. And she regularly politely declines.
However she's taking part in Channel 7's The New Monty: Ladies' Night, where eight celebrities strip as part of a dance performance to raise awareness about breast cancer.
"This one got through my firewall," Hooper admits.
"I get asked to do I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here every year, I get asked to try out for Dancing With The Stars. The day I got the call for this wasn't that long after my mum's (breast cancer) diagnosis. She was in the early days of her treatment. It was pretty undeniable cosmic timing, I thought I've got to do this, even if it's something I wouldn't normally do."
Hooper joins the likes of Casey Donovan, Lisa Curry, Georgie Parker, Nadia Bartel and Lynne McGranger in the latest incarnation of the feel-good reality show.
"Every time I was out of my comfort zone or feeling sooky I'd remind myself that it was nothing compared to what anyone with breast cancer is going through or has been through. For me it was more the dancing than the disrobing. It's not my world at all. Even the structure of the show, that thing of 'OK that was great you guys all walking in there, now can you go and do it all again', that was a whole new path for me to walk."
There is a happy ending - Hooper's mum Helen has gone back to work since the show was filmed (she came to Sydney to watch the show).
"She's doing really well," Hooper says. "I stuffed up in the show, I said she had stage three cancer, which she actually didn't, I got my terminology wrong. She was lucky from the start, she had a very big, very aggressive tumour and it was oestrogen-reactive and it was scary. They got it out, she had to have chemo, radio and now hormone therapy. It hasn't been nice but she has had such a positive prognosis from the start.
"She's feeling very confident. We're pretty private, so she's nervous about it going to air. I've been handling being Ella the musician since I was 13. Nothing much shocks me these days when it comes to what people say about me. Even though my mum is a really charismatic, rambunctious personality, she doesn't like being on camera too much and isn't used to media attention."
Hooper admits to having "relief grief" after her mum got the medical all clear.
"I often process my emotions quite slowly and sometimes inappropriately," she says.
"I think it's from growing up in a band and being in some pretty wild situations since I was a kid. I don't freak out at the time, I'm good at keeping my cool, I don't react if something bad happens or someone's rude to me or even I'm having a fight with a partner. I'm very slow to anger or react or to cry.
"But sometimes it hits me later when I least expect it. When the threat is gone I can feel the freak out start. I don't know if a psychologist would have an actual term for it, but it was something I noticed about myself when we wrapped the show up and mum got her all clear. Of course she'll have to keep getting her health checks, it's a thing that can reoccur. But when she went back to work and seemed like herself again I got quite emotional. I think I'll get super emotional watching the show. I got emotional watching the other series that had people I didn't know in it, now I know all these ladies and we really did bond."
Last month Hooper watched on as she became part of a Daily Mail clickbait story - the website taking screengrabs from a "rare TV interview" and saying she looked "unrecognisable" without her "heavy make-up and signature dreadlocks."
As people on social media were quick to point out, not only is it now 20 years since Killing Heidi's debut single Weir - hence she looks 36 not 16 anymore - but Hooper's done everything from Eurovision to Spicks and Specks in the last few years as well as recording and touring prolifically, making her hardly a media recluse.
"It hasn't been one of my quiet years," Hooper laughs. "If I got any bruised ego it was that. Hey man I'm busy, look at my Instagram! Whoever wrote it is probably from a totally different world. 'Shy retiring star makes rare TV appearance' is pretty cheeky though.
"I meet people all the time who say 'Oh are you still making music?' If I had a dollar for every time somebody didn't know what I'm doing with my career now I'd be rich, but I never take that personally. I know it's clickbait. I know it could be anyone.
"I went to a Cirque Du Soleil opening once with no make up and it was 'Fresh faced Ella Hooper looks so healthy and wholesome'. Whenever I forget to dress rock it makes the headlines, which is hilarious considering I started making headlines for looking rock. Imagine if I actually did something actually noteworthy like got a drug habit or had some crazy affair, shit would melt down if I can get that kind of reaction from having straight hair and wearing a cardigan on TV!"
Musically, Hooper will spend the summer with the reformed Killing Heidi as part of the Red Hot Summer Tour, playing on an all-Australian bill that includes Hunters and Collectors, James Reyne, the Living End and Baby Animals.
She's just been in Nashville working on her next solo material, which she'll keep writing on weekdays, between Killing Heidi's weekend work.
"I had a new solo release done and dusted and decided it wasn't what I wanted to do, it didn't feel quite right genrewise. Killing Heidi came along and totally filled my rock dance card. So rock was covered, I thought I might go and do something a little different so I can get the contrast I love so much. The new music might be country, it might be pop or rock. In my perfect world I'd love it to be alt-country twang, but who knows?"
Ladies' Night, Channel 7, Sunday 7pm