Dressing the part
Former Shortland Street star Jacqueline Nairn (right and below) tells Kerry Harvey how she had a taste of Victorian life for her role in The Brokenwood Mysteries.
When Shortland Street’s much-loved Wendy Cooper was killed in 2016, actress Jacqueline Nairn said it would take a very different role to lure her back in front of the camera.
“Be careful what you wish for right?” Nairn says, of playing the murder victim in this week’s episode of The Brokenwood Mysteries.
Charity Highmore-Browne is the owner and curator of Brokenwood’s Historic Village. A stickler for all things Victorian, Charity lives in a time warp and her sudden death – by arrow – takes DI Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) and his team on a journey into New Zealand’s colonial past.
“I said it would be nice to play someone with a bit of an edge, and it’s fair to say Charity does have a bit of an edge and she’s unlike any other character I’ve ever played,” says Nairn, who has spent the past 18 months working as a director on Shortland Street.
“She dresses and lives like she would in 1861. Everyone around her just dresses up for the live days, but Charity actually lives the life, down to corsets and bloomers and hairstyle and no makeup. It was quite a departure from lavender scrubs, I have to say.” The role gave Nairn an insight into what it was like to be a woman in Victorian New Zealand. “It took two of