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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Get to know: Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams plays Lana Jacobs on Shortland Street TV2

Brooke Williams as Lana Jacobs - Shortland Street TV2

Lana and Gabrielle Jacobs - Shortland Street TV2

Brooke Williams joins the cast as new PA Lana Jacobs. Watch our exclusive interview with her here.

How did you get your role on Shortland Street?

I had  actually auditioned for another role a few months before and then out of the blue my agent called me and said that I had been offered the role of Lana. 
It was very exciting!

How long have you been acting, how did you get your big break?

I have been acting since I can remember. To be honest I consider every job I've had to be a big break.

I'm a bit of a geek because every project becomes my favourite when I'm working on it! 

That being said, I do remember getting my first professional theatre job when I was 17.

I got told I had the role and I went into the toilets at the theatre and actually pinched myself because I didn't believe it was real.

Then I cried and called my mum. Very Black Swan.

Name three similarities between yourself and your character.

Gosh, that's quite tricky because Lana and I are so, so different.

I think we're both really sensitive (although Lana hides it a lot more than I do.)

We both have a strong sense of responsibility towards our families.

We are both arty and like to be creative.


What has been your best experience on the show to date?

I've really loved shooting some of the more heated sister scenes with Virge.

Neither of us have a sister so we both had to do some sneaky research observing friends who do.

Gabrielle and Lana have such a complex relationship and I am really enjoying exploring that dynamic.

Which other character would you want to be and why?

I think Gabrielle because she is such a wonderful puzzle of contradictions.

Strong yet vulnerable, hilarious and yet deeply serious and rational too.

Who is the actor you admire the most?

Craig Parker. He's so talented, so generous and so funny and he has this wonderful ability to make everyone feel comfortable and happy. I aspire to be like him.  In lady form.

Which Shorty Street actors do you enjoy working with and why?

I have had most of my scenes so far with Virge, Ido and Kieren and luckily I adore all three.

Virge is so focussed, and so detailed and delicate in her work.

I find it exciting to be in scenes with her because she is incredibly truthful, connected  and calm and yet manages to be so disarming and unexpected and fresh in the same moment.

Working with Ido is awesome too because he is extremely generous and humble and hardworking and he carries himself with so much grace and good humour.

And Kieren has a mountain of much craft and experience and is also really funny and chilled out and great to be around on set.

What is the thing you enjoy most about going to work?

I love the regularity of it. And getting to watch and learn from the pros.

Do you watch Shortland Street at home?

I grew up watching Shortland Street and I still do, so yes it will be very strange seeing myself there!

What are your hobbies and interests?

I absolutely adore animals, I can't get enough of them. I actually aspire to be a crazy cat woman.

I'm also really into cooking at the moment and am working my way through a gorgeous Thai recipe book that I got last Christmas.

I'm a Shakespeare nerd and I pretty much love anything creative and writing short stories, drawing, papier mache, tea parties, dress ups , making jewellery, making cupcakes...the list goes on!

What's your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?

In NZ it's the poplar strewn beaches of Lake Wanaka in autumn.

That smell, those colours, the freshness on your cheeks. I grew up hunting for fairies on those beaches and every time I go back I feel that same sense of magic and adventure and potential.

My favourite overseas destination is Amsterdam.

Every time I go there I want to bottle the feeling and bring it back to keep under my pillow.

What's your date of birth and what star sign are you?

My birthday is January 3 and I am a Capricorn.

Do you have any pets?

If I wasn't flatting I would have a zoo. Seriously. I just think cuddles from pets are the best ever.

My flatmate and I are part time guardians to a gorgeous fat ginger cat called Noodle.

He grew up as a stray in a swamp and is now the friendliest most loving creature around. 

My dream is to have a gang of teacup piglets and call the leader 'Hamlet'.

What is your favourite food?
I go absolutely crazy over macaroni cheese. It sounds weird I know but its so tasty and so reliable.

I also love Larb Gai, a Thai dish consisting of minced chicken, ground jasmine rice ,heaps of coriander, red onion, and lots other wonderful goodies.

So much flavour, so much texture. Scrumptious.

And for desert I can't go past a good crème brulee with blueberries and rasberries and a tiny bit of cream.

Oh now my mouth is watering!!!

Are you from Auckland or did you move here to film Shortland Street?

I have been living in Auckland for four years now and I love it.

Before moving to the warm, I was at drama school in Wellington and I am originally from beautiful Christchurch.

What's your strangest fan experience?

After I did Outrageous Fortune I was really surprised that lots of people actually thought I was Russian.

I appeared on another show a few months later using my own kiwi accent and I had a shop assistant in a clothing store come up to me and tell me that my New Zealand accent was very good.

It took me a while to work out that after Outrageous she had assumed I was Russian and was putting on a kiwi accent for the other show.

I thought that was quite sweet and totally bizarre.

I felt bad to break it to her so I just nodded and smiled! Ha!

What was your first day on Shorty like?

I was pretty nervous but luckily everyone was so lovely and so helpful.

Catch the delightful Brooke on Shortland Street - weeknights 7pm on TV2.