Bad Mothers actress Shalom Brune-Franklin reveals the defining moments in her life which have had the greatest impact on her career.
Here at Miss FQ, we’re all about mastering the struggle of the juggle — in other words, balancing our careers, our relationships and our wellbeing. Plus, we’re partial to a little drama and entertainment every now and again, because, who isn’t? When we first heard about the 8-part drama series Bad Mothers on TVNZ, which explores the underbelly of modern motherhood through the prism of four very different women, it was a no-brainer we’d be tuning in. Throw in an affair and a murder and douse it in scandal and dark humour and you have yourself one hell of a show.
Ahead of the February 20 Bad Mothers premiere, we chatted to rising star Shalom Brune-Franklin, 24, who plays Bindy Burridge – an attractive, charismatic and energetic personal trainer whose client is the husband accused of murdering his “perfect” wife… Franklin’s character was a teen mum with parents who have carried the responsibility (for the most part) and inherently falls into the “bad” mothers club.
Find out about Shalom Brune-Franklin’s story to date and why she’s a girl you need to know:
Miss FQ: What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?
Shalom Brune-Franklin: I grew up just outside of North London in a city called St. Albans in the UK, but when I was 14 my family moved to Perth, Western Australia. I ended up sort of falling into a drama school called WAAPA at 18, after having to leave university due to enrollment complications – it was one of the best things to happen to me. I graduated at the age of 21 and I have been working in the industry ever since.
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I never really had a moment I knew. I transferred into drama in year 12 after being thrown out of maths. I was failing hard and drama seemed like an ‘easy’ option in my mind as opposed to my other choices. I remember the class being so fun and easy; I didn’t struggle with the assignments and learning lines and creating characters came naturally, so it all kind of fit.
Who do you admire most in your industry and why?
I admire artists like Ruth Negga, Thandie Newton, and Viola Davis as women who play consistently truthful strong black female characters which really resonate with me. I was raised by strong, intelligent and charismatic black women, so I will always love to see that on my screen. I admire the truth these actors bring to each and every moment of their performance.
How important is female empowerment to you and why?
There is nothing more important than the support, love and uplifting of others in this current world, regardless of race, gender or politics. I believe that we have to get better at helping one another and accepting all parts of one another. I am lucky to have had such great examples of female empowerment growing up in my own family; without these bonds, I’d be completely lost.
Do you have any advice for Miss FQ readers who want to get into a career like yours?
Get as educated as possible, make an effort to meet with people who either work in this industry or lecture at a drama school—any kind of connection you can make—so you know what your closest and next steps are. Also, audition for your closest drama school to learn the craft. Being persistent and headstrong in the face of rejection are qualities you really need. But most importantly, believe in yourself.
How do you define success?
I define success by happiness and clarity. The more at peace I am in my life and my relationships, the happier I am, the more clear I feel and that to me is what success is.
What has been your greatest accomplishment or milestone to date?
It was my family picking ourselves up out of a crappy living situation in the UK and making it work in Australia. For me, moving there was a defining moment in my life.
What are some challenges you’ve faced or had to overcome?
I had an amazing childhood filled with a lot of love but it wasn’t an easy one. We didn’t have a lot as kids, so for myself, it’s been about allowing myself to dare to dream. I could never have told myself at 17 I’d be where I am in my early twenties. I’ve worked hard to be where I am, even though it becomes exhausting at times.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen about yourself on social media?
Oh god, ummm probably featuring on the Wikifeet page. It’s a page designed to rate people’s feet from ugly to beautiful. People are wild.
When and where was the first time someone recognised you?
I remember it was at a local café in Perth, I was paying for my breakfast and the woman at the till recognised me. It was so funny, and she was really sweet.
Any life-changing books, podcasts, or websites you recommend?
I’m one of those that love a good crime podcast, so for that Up and Vanished is great. I’m currently listening to one called Teacher’s Pet. But as for changing my perception, Invisibillia is an incredible podcast series, about the invisible forces that shape our ideas and beliefs. bOne of my favourite books is a book called The Kite Runner – it’s just a beautiful book.
What motivates you?
My love for my life and my family and friends. I’m so lucky to be here and to be given this time, so I want to make the most of that.
Do you have favourite quote or mantra to live by?|
Girl, you have to step your pussy up!
What’s your favourite go-to outfit or piece when you need to feel confident?
At the moment my big vintage biker jacket – I feel like a badass in it.
Being told ‘no’, being rejected or failure in general, is a hard reality we all face at some stage. How do you cope with failure?
This may sound morbid, but I promise it’s the opposite – reminding myself of my own mortality, as it’s the simplest way I find to check myself. To remember nothing is permanent, it’s all temporary, just like my feet being on this ground right now. So get your ass up, get over it; don’t get bitter, get better.
What’s the one beauty product you couldn’t live without?
Moisturiser, because girl, those ashy knees are completely unacceptable!
When did you last act fearlessly?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Probably on the small scale, my last meeting. It was with a room full of producers and I just had to go for it in one of the scenes I was performing. I had to switch off that little self-sabotaging voice and just let go—that can be really hard sometimes, getting out of my own way to play the truth.
You’ve already achieved so much—what’s next for you?
I could try to answer this but I’ll be totally honest I have no idea! Hopefully, a yacht, the Bahamas, or a mojito are in close sights…
Bad Mothers airs on TVNZ1 every Wednesday at 8.30pm