Shan­non Berry

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - COLIN VICK­ERY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Off­spring fans have al­ready had to cope with the death of Darcy Proud­man (John Wa­ters), the split be­tween Nina Proud­man (Asher Ked­die) and Leo Tay­lor (Pa­trick Bram­mall) and the shock rev­e­la­tion of love child Will Bowen (TJ Power).

Last week saw the ar­rival of St Fran­cis’s flir­ta­tious new di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion, Dr An­gus Free­man (Dan Wylie). Now the hit Aussie drama is set for an­other new­bie, re­bel­lious teen Brody Jor­dan, played by 16-year-old Shan­non Berry.

Brody is the daugh­ter of Bil­lie Proud­man’s (Kat Ste­wart) es­tranged friend Stacey. Brody has spent time in foster care. She has been dam­aged by her mother’s ne­glect, does a run­ner and crashes into Bil­lie’s world.

Brody has a tough ex­te­rior but I won­der whether you think that masks an un­der­ly­ing vul­ner­a­bil­ity. I found Brody so in­ter­est­ing. She’s con­fi­dent and strong. She’s had to grow up quite fast. She’s com­pletely re­liant on her­self. She is in­de­pen­dent. What drew me in to the char­ac­ter was her run­ning away to try and get away from some­thing she hates, but she ends up find­ing some­thing that she can fall in love with, which is Bil­lie who is her moth­erly fig­ure.

What is Brody run­ning from? Brody has run away from her mum af­ter a fight about Brody’s older boyfriend, but it is deeper than that. Her mum has filled her with false prom­ises. She has taken her out of foster care, which Brody has been in most of her life while her mum has been in jail. When she is first re­united with her mum she is ex­cited, think­ing she’ll have a fam­ily, a con­nec­tion with her mum that she has al­ways wanted, but it doesn’t hap­pen.

What is it about Bil­lie that res­onates with Brody? When she stum­bles into Bil­lie she doesn’t ex­pect much of a con­nec­tion but she finds ev­ery­thing that she has ever wanted — some­body who cares about her, who lis­tens to her, and wants to pro­tect her. She wants to make Bil­lie proud. It is a mother-daugh­ter con­nec­tion that she has been search­ing for but couldn’t find with her own mum.

You’ve ob­vi­ously had to do a lot of scenes with Kat and Asher. What has that been like? Work­ing with Kat is amaz­ing. As soon as I met her I knew we were go­ing to get along. She is a car­ing and com­pas­sion­ate per­son. I look up to her so much. I in­stantly got that happy, kind na­ture from Kat so it was easy (to cre­ate the char­ac­ters’ con­nec­tion). Be­fore I got there (first day on set) I was prac­tis­ing how I’d say hello to Asher. She is such an Aus­tralian icon. But she’s just a nor­mal lovely per­son like any­one else. As soon as I met her I wasn’t scared or ner­vous.

OFF­SPRING, CHAN­NEL 10, WED­NES­DAY, 8.30PM

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