She made headlines as a gamer’s wife, presenter – and through her failed marriages. Sylvie Meis polarizes. In the GALA interview, she shows a whole new side of herself.
The private elevator takes you all the way up to your penthouse in Hamburg-Eppendorf. Small request at the apartment door: Please take off your shoes. No problem, you also feel comfortable in socks here. The lady of the house herself wears high heels – she wants to look her best for her guests – and has a beaming smile. Sylvie Meis, 45, invited GALA to her home. Serves cappuccino with pea milk (high protein, low calories – yummy!). And asks if the music in the background is disturbing. blues and jazz. Even as a child she liked both. The interior also bears her personal signature. Lots of shine, bright colors. The large TV screen can be swiveled to the side. Then there is even more space for the moderator, entrepreneur and influencer to shoot.
Sylvie Meis in the GALA interview: She has found herself
Sylvie Meis pays attention to every detail, always appears perfect – even after her marriage to artist Niclas Castello, 44, in February. Some criticize that. In the GALA interview, shortly before her “half-round” birthday on April 13, she speaks openly about her feelings – which, surprisingly for some, also include self-doubt.
GALA: Are you still discovering new qualities in yourself at the age of 45?
Sylvie Meis: I have more peace in me. I allow myself to be at peace with myself.
That was not always so?
Well, I always got everything under one roof. I became a mother at the age of 28 but had the urge to pursue a career. I often faced challenges there.
I’ve managed to be a little kinder to myself now.
How do you notice that?
I’m much more aware that I can be proud of what I’ve achieved. I can be proud of how I look. I used to always think: I’m not slim enough, not athletic enough. It felt like I wasn’t enough in anything. Now I’m happy with myself.
Do you sometimes feel jealous?
There is hostility, especially on the internet. Although “self-love” is being preached there. But if I actually show myself like this on social media, then it will be difficult. If you look like me, you probably shouldn’t love yourself.
When did you first notice that people were very concerned about your appearance?
Already at school. There was talk every day about how I look, what I wear. And the comments have not always been positive.
Always in the public eye
Before your TV career, you trained as a human resources manager. Would you be a different Sylvie if you worked in a normal job today?
I would look the same as I do now: I always wanted to be the best version of myself. Of course I would have had different experiences. Maybe I wouldn’t be so confident. Although: Maybe I would be much more self-confident the other way around.
What do you mean?
Without the public pressure I would have had a lot more freedom. I certainly could have enjoyed a lot more. Especially in private. I didn’t have to justify myself, for example how I look. And I didn’t have to be careful who I date. I have all of that now. I think this side of being a woman could have developed better for me.
This is how she really feels after the breakup
Her love life has often made headlines. You announced the end of your second marriage at the end of February. How have you been since then?
I have a very good environment, they support me a lot. I also appreciate that I can really enjoy life in Hamburg with my friends.
I’m doing well. I’m spending a lot of time with my family right now. Especially with Damian.
In your experience, do you find it difficult to trust people?
I’m grateful that I can trust again. There were times when I only trusted my manager and my closest family. As with a food intolerance, I have reduced everything and everyone in my life to who is good for me and who is not. That was a tough school.
That’s what Sylvie Meis says about a new love
Does the tough school also shape your flirting behavior?
Absolutely. It’s sad that I have to answer that. Because something that seems normal in life is not normal to me.
Are you open to a new happiness?
I can feel the spring in me too, but I don’t have the head for more right now. I am happy. ‘Cause I’m enough for myself
Will that change again?
Even when I’m alone in my apartment on Friday night, I dress nicely, listen to music, and have a glass of champagne. I am a sensual woman, I live and breathe this attitude. I’m at the point now where I want to be sensual here with jazz music all by myself. (laughs) All by myself! I never thought I’d feel this way, but it really is.
But with experience comes a point where you ask yourself: What do you want in life?
Does that have anything to do with getting older?
That can be good. I mean – I didn’t suddenly go blind. Of course there are moments when you see someone, take a quick look, but half a second later it’s over. Now I want rest. I don’t want to escape into a new relationship just because I’m alone.
Are you still set on love from head to toe?
You could say that. i am a dreamer I’m aries.
It is said that Aries people are always looking for a happy ending.
I will always be in search of my perfect fairy tale.
Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her son
Her son Damian just has his first girlfriend. How do you feel about him growing up?
I am very happy that he met such a great, pretty girl in Laerke. He has already developed a great character and is now a young man. When he’s next to me – he’s huge! – he always calls me “little mom”. (laughs) Damian got the best of Rafael and I.
What does he get from whom?
He’s as disciplined as me. As focused as both of us. He got his dry Dutch humor from Rafael. Damian is definitely as fashion conscious as I am. And he also has a little penchant for show. Oh yes, he is vain like me! His gestures and facial expression are Rafael. But he also looks like me, he has my Indonesian features, the almond eyes, the skin tone. And the way he looks into the camera…
Do you go shopping together?
When he’s with me in Hamburg, I can’t avoid going to the Alsterhaus. Then I have to drag him out of the designer department. (laughs) He just loves labels like Off-White, Palm Angels, Balmain, Givenchy. I say no! It’s so typical – hmm, I don’t want to say “footballer”, but somehow I do. So pretty loud. It would like to be quieter.
Your son has been living with your ex-husband Rafael van der Vaart in Denmark for three years to pursue a career as a professional footballer.
And I haven’t changed anything in his room since. Even the Rafael posters are still there.
Do you see Damian regularly?
Once a month I drive to Esbjerg to see him. There’s a hotel right next to Rafael’s and his new partner Estavana’s apartment, so I’ll book myself into it. Damian then comes to me. I take him to school or football practice. I visit his girlfriend’s parents with him. And we like to play a game with Rafael and Estavana in the evening.
A Danish game. A bit like “don’t worry yourself”. It took me a long time to understand it and so far I’ve only lost. (laughs)
Does your teenage son never get annoyed because he’d rather be out with friends?
Sometimes I think I can count myself lucky about my exclusive days. If he were still with me in Hamburg, he would want to sit in his room like any other teenager or play football with friends. So it’s clear to him: It’s Mama Time. We have a ritual together, walking through Esbjerg’s market square, where there is a bistro called “Gallardo”. We always eat the same thing there. Damian orders pasta with tomato sauce, extra parmesan and chicken breast. And I – surprise! – Salad with salmon or shrimp. Without croutons, of course. (laughs)
Are there any other rituals?
We love watching the football comedy series “Ted Lasso” together.
Privacy is often too scarce
Well, you’re used to being recognized on the street, and you celebrate it when you vacation in VIP hotspots. Is it more relaxed in Denmark?
People know me there, but they don’t recognize me. It actually makes it more relaxing. It’s funny you bring that up about the vacation. I’ve made up my mind to go on vacation this year to a place where nobody will recognize me.
It already seems as if you would love that.
I love Saint-Tropez and I’m aware that there are photographers there. But it really puts pressure on me when they wait for me to get up from the lounger and go into the water. I don’t want to do that anymore. A long weekend maybe, but not my whole summer vacation anymore.
In Holland they always say: “Sylvie calls the paparazzi!” That’s not true.
Do you walk around differently in Esbjerg?
I’m stylish there too, that’s in my DNA. But I don’t wear the highest killer heels – there are cobblestones everywhere.
Life as a blended family was not always easy
How is your relationship with Rafael and his new partner today?
We can spend Christmas together again or celebrate Damian’s birthday together. Rafael and Estavana were also the first to contact me when they found out I was breaking up with Niclas. They called him too. This is real friendship. It’s a family feeling. The big winner is Damian. It’s great for him that we get along again. For that I am eternally grateful. Especially Estavana – she made it possible.
It’s a huge win that we’ve become a family again in recent years.
Estavana mediated between you and Rafael?
She made it possible to rebuild a good relationship with Rafael after the divorce by also being understanding of me as a mother when Damian moved in with them. She herself is the mother of a daughter and may have wondered what it would be like for her if her child moved far away to her ex-partner. Estavana is a super great woman. Beautiful. Talented with a great career. I have the utmost respect for her.
You seem to like each other?
We’re really good friends. If she is invited somewhere, she calls me and asks me what she could wear. And then she always says: “Next time you’re really going to put my make-up on me!”