Proud Dad Art Green: ‘My little girl is just so special’

The Celebrity Treasure Island hunk opens up about the new addition to his family

The fairytale happy ending finally feels complete for reality TV prince Art Green, whose wife Matilda gave birth to their second child, a little girl named Autumn, in June.

“Fatherhood the second time round is like putting on a pair of well-worn gumboots – you just feel far more comfortable and prepared for wading through the nappies and sleepless nights,” says the former Bachelor heart-throb, 33, who’s also dad to two-year-old Milo.

“It’s very special having a little daddy’s girl and Autumn is fitting in really well. She’s slowly settling into a sleep routine, and Matilda and I both see bits of ourselves in her.”

Fortunately for the family, Art filmed his stint on Celebrity Treasure Island a few months before Matilda, 30, was due, but it was still heart-wrenching to leave his pregnant wife on her own with an 18-month-old while he did battle with his fellow stars on the beaches of the Far North.

“It was a really hard decision for us to make, knowing how difficult this time would be for Matty and that we would have absolutely no contact for up to a month,” Art told Woman’s Day just before filming started. “I’m definitely going to miss them. That’ll be the most challenging part for me.”

Art was away in Argentina for a month, filming The Bachelorette NZ, when Milo was just very young, but he says, “It’s going to be harder this time because he’s at that age where he’s far more interactive.

He’s just started to walk and he’s starting to communicate. He’s going to miss me.

“But Matty has been very encouraging of me coming here because she thinks I’m going to win. She’s my biggest supporter. But she also wants me to come home soon, so I can’t lose, really!”

So, beyond squeezing in a beach getaway before all those sleepless nights, why did Art sign up for Treasure Island?

“I thought it was a great opportunity to challenge myself to see how I cope with a few weeks completely off the grid – no phones, no books and nothing to write with.

“It’ll force me to go inside my head and reflect internally on this stage of my life. I have so much going on in my day-to-day life, I very rarely get the time to just sit and contemplate. I’ll be using the space to think about where I’m at, where I’m heading and what my true values are.”

After hosting a few seasons of The Bachelorette and Bachelor, Art admits going back to being a contestant on a reality show will “definitely be different”. He adds, “As a host, I’m there performing a role, but here I’ll be completely myself. I’ll be more vulnerable, but I’ll enjoy being able to relax into my own skin.”

With his enviable set of abs, Art insists he didn’t do anything special to prepare for his time on Treasure Island, although he admits his habit of fasting should come in handy.

“I generally fast until lunchtime, but sometimes I’ll go a day or two without eating, so I’m used to being hungry,” he explains.

“My body’s able to function pretty well on no food. It’s just a mind game. For me, it’s about longevity, resetting my body and overall health.”

Acknowledging his physical fitness might make him “a target” for fellow castaways, Art adds that he sees Sir Wayne “Buck” Shelford, Game Of Thrones actor Joe Naufahu and former Shortland Street star Kimberley Crossman as his biggest rivals.

“The boys have that toughness and mental resilience, but Kim’s actually pretty fit and she’s also got intelligence under that innocent little face of hers.

I reckon she can be a bit of a smiling assassin.”

But while he admits he’s “super-competitive” and that he really wants to win Treasure Island, Art says his greatest achievement will always be becoming a father.

“Providing a happy, safe and love-filled environment for my children to grow up in is the most important thing I could do with my life. I’m pretty proud of having achieved that.”

Mum’s the word!

Asked how she describes her parenting style, Matilda Green replies, “Loving and relaxed – the relaxed part is a constant work in progress!” As for what surprised her most about motherhood, she answers, “How much your priorities change in such a short space of time.”

When it comes to becoming a mum for the second time, Matilda tells us, “I have a different perspective on how babies work now. I’ve learned that things don’t always go to plan and that it really isn’t the end of the world if their routine is thrown out occasionally. I got a little regimented about Milo’s routine for a while and the only thing it did was make me stressed!”

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