'All of the love that you put into your animals has come out on screen, on my screen and it will be there forever.' - Steven Spielberg
The inspirational true story of a remarkable young woman who overcame an unconventional childhood, personal tragedy and depression to work as a stunt woman and then as one of the most successful animal trainers in Australia, if not the world. Zelie's love of animals and their affection for her has kept her going during even her darkest moments, and ultimately this led her to the man she loves and to the amazing life she now leads.
Step inside Zelie's extraordinary world where she has worked with everyone from Princess Zahra, the Aga Khan's daughter, to Antonio Banderas, to the piglets in Babe and the war horse in Stephen Spielberg's epic film, War Horse.
In writing her story, Zelie Bullen, has been assisted by her sister, Freda Marnie Nicholls, who is a rural journalist and has had many magazine articles published, most recently as a regular contributor to R.M. Williams Outback magazine. This is their first book.
Love, Sweat and Tears
Allen and Unwin
Authors: Zelie Bullen and Freda Marnie Nicholls
Question: Why did you decide to write your story, Love, Sweat and Tears?
Zelie Bullen: I was approached to write my story after appearing on Australian Story and was at first reluctant, but was convinced by the publisher that my story may help someone going through equally tough times, to make it through.
Question: Why was it important to write with your sister, Freda Marnie Nicholls?
Zelie Bullen: I think she was the only person I could have written this story with and trust to portray me the way I am, and it was an incredible experience for both of us.
Question: Was it difficult to relive moments of your life, when writing?
Zelie Bullen: We tackled the hardest, more emotional events in my life first. We cried a lot and yet again had an opportunity to express heart felt emotion surrounding these events. I think we dealt with it by laughing and crying together, and it sort of gave rise to the title of the book in the end.
Question: What do you enjoy most about working with animals?
Zelie Bullen: I love that you are in the moment with them, even when you have a long term plan, every moment you are with them you are not worried about other things going on in the world. I feel lucky and privileged to be around any animal. I like the thought of educating and broadening others horizons and hopefully improving the lives of any animal I can.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Zelie Bullen: Every film and every job has different expectations, schedules, animals and requirements; there isn't a typical day really. I love it.
Interview by Brooke Hunter