Erika Heynatz

Erika Heynatz

Chic Management profile (Credit: Chic Management)

How do you go from being Australia's Best Top Model to Australia's Next Top Model? It all starts with a struggling graphic design student looking to get into modelling and it ends with Erika Heynatz becoming an internationally renowned model, actress, singer and television presenter.

Erika's natural appearance and charming demeanor saw her signed to Chic Models at the age of 21 and was soon strutting down catwalks throughout Australia, Europe and the USA. Campaign-wise, she became the face of major Australian advertising campaigns such as Neutrogena Skincare, Jockey Underwear, Victorian Tourism Commission, Comedy Festival, Energex, Chatswood Chase, Bacardi, Lexus, Gillette, Panasonic and Mitsubishi. In America, it was Lifesavers Coolblasts, Verizone Wireless and Uncle Ben's while in Japan she was the face of Hewlett Packard and Volkswagen Passat. Not to be outdone, Germany grabbed her to represent Deutsche Bank and Vectra.

Acting soon followed with roles in HEROES MOUNTAIN, CRASH PALACE, FARSCAPE, HEADSTART and the Disney motion picture GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE 2. In the American telemovie MERMAIDS, leading lady Erika underwent intensive fight/swim and dive training to play a warrior princess/mermaid. As the granddaughter of a Danish sea faring adventurer, the part seemed custom-made for Ms Heynatz who still claims she has salt water in her veins.

Erika launched the next phase of her career in 2002 when she was signed as a presenter on Nine's lifestyle show BODY AND SOUL. The show's fitness content strongly echoed Erika's own interests and led to her becoming an ambassador for Nike-based sports charities.

In 2004, Erika became the sole host (as well as being the contestants' motivator and leader) of Ten's controversial reality series THE HOTHOUSE. During the 3 month shoot, she was living and breathing the production process, immersing herself in the day to day filming and editing process. Erika became a household name and while the show was seen by some to be an under-performer, Erika emerged unscathed from the experience. In fact, industry heavyweights were already eyeing her up for her biggest TV role to date, "I've never been typecast in one genre of television presenting and it's great to show some versatility with every new series" says Erika.

A few months later, when Foxtel decided to make a local version of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, they tapped Erika to fill the local stilettos of American supermodel/host Tyra Banks. AUSTRALIA'S NEXT TOP MODEL was a smash hit from night 1, debuting second highest rating ever seen for a Foxtel TV event.

Erika started filming the second series of AUSTRALIA'S NEXT TOP MODEL in August, secured the lead role in the U.S feature film VOODOO LAGOON directed by Nick Cohen and the lead role in GABRIELLE playing the part of Lillith.

In February Erika was chosen as the official ambassador and spokesperson for Toyota at the 2005 Grand Prix. There's also the possibility of more corportate gigs after Erika hosted an outrageous NW 2005 Oscars lunch and successfully juggled the twin temperaments of a spaced-out Anna Nicole Smith and a somewhat-untalkative Jimeoin.

Erika was also Face of this year's Caulfield Cup, which will soon be seen in a Sony Playstation game LA Noir in the role of Elsa which will hit stands in 2006/07 and can be seen on U.K TV in a Procter and Gamble Aussie Hair Care Advertorial.

Awards for Foxtel, and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of interviewing movie greats, Hugo Weaving, Geoffrey Rush and Claudia Karvan just to name a few.

Erika evokes an indelible impression with wide audience appeal. Early this year Erika narrated the SBS documentary, HEAT IN THE KITCHEN. Watch this space ....

Interview and Bio (from 2003)

Meet the Host, Erika Heynatz (Credit: The Hothouse official website)

Erika Heynatz is the face of The HotHouse. She’s the one who’ll keep you up to date with the latest HotHouse goss and she’ll let you in on truckloads of building tips. Here’s what Erika had to say in the lead up to the show’s launch.

Q: What’s it like being the host of a show?

A: Challenging, nerve wracking, liberating and exciting. It tests the faith you have in yourself to be able to act spontaneously, to get a point across clearly and communicate an issue in a way that is interesting and hopefully entertaining. It’s often a high pressure environment, which forces you to rely on the support structure of the team you work with. Ultimately, it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop and test many personal and professional skills.

Q: Have you got any building experience?

A: I am crafty by nature, but have never owned a space nor had the luxury of having permission to do much anywhere I have rented (does extensive abuse of blu-tack count?) I have aided mates with painting, re-vamping of furniture, shelving, gardening and lugging of large objects. Feng shui isn’t my strong point.

Q: Will you be hopping in and helping the builders and couples out on The HotHouse site?

A: I can’t wait to get my hands on the power tools… though I’m a bit of a klutz. So, hope they’ve got good insurance!

Q. Tell us about your background Erika.

A: After completing high school in Victoria, I studied graphic design at a university in Brisbane for three years. I began modelling during this time and eventually moved to Sydney to model full time. During the following five years I worked on commercials, advertising campaigns, television drama, telemovies and feature films. I also studied acting, presenting, music theory, singing, video and music editing.

Over the past two years I have primarily focused more on music and acting, splitting my time between Australia and the United States. My first big presenting job was for an Olympic special for the US. I then worked on two series of Body and Soul for Channel Nine.

Q: What are you most passionate about in life?

A. Music, travel, friendship and food.

Q: Describe yourself in 3 words.

A: Ambitious, creative, lucky.

Q: What’s your star sign? In which ways are you typical of that star sign?

A: Aries; independent, adventurous, passionate, expressive, fiery, impatient, impulsive, energetic, driven, disciplined, imaginative, playful, childish, loyal.

Q: What is it like being drop dead gorgeous?

A: Eh?

Q: What are you most looking forward to about The HotHouse?

A: Having lived alone in a tiny studio in Kings Cross, Sydney for six years, I am looking forward to living in a home by the ocean and inheriting the large team of friends working towards a common goal. Meeting the couples will be fascinating, observing their contributions emotionally, physically and creatively and seeing how they function in such a challenging environment.

I really love the concept of giving hardworking individuals who are battling to achieve the great Australian dream a chance of living in a home that they have built themselves. A whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears will be what shapes the creation of this ultimate luxury home. It will be really interesting to learn the difference in each of their visions. I hope that it inspires me to finally save up my hard earned cash to do the very same thing!

Internet Movie Database (credit)

Actress - filmography
(In Production) (2000s)

Voodoo Lagoon (2006) (post-production) .... Penny

Mermaids (2003) (TV) .... Diana
George of the Jungle 2 (2003) (V) .... Kowalski
... aka Far Horizon (Australia)
- Terra Firma (2003) TV Episode .... Caroline Wallace
- Unrealized Reality (2002) TV Episode .... Caroline Wallace
Heroes' Mountain (2002) (TV) .... Nicola

Filmography as: Actress, Herself

Herself - filmography

"The Glass House"
- Episode #4.29 (2004) TV Episode .... Herself
"Body and Soul" (2002/II) TV Series .... Herself - Host/Reporter
Playboy: Girls Down Under (2000) (V) .... Herself - Hostess


Australia's Next Top Model

Chic Management




Media and Entertainment Babes




TV Presenters


Google News search for Erika Heynatz