As soon as Private Maisie Richards was introduced to viewers on Our Girl in 2017 she was an instant hit. Everyone wanted to know who actor Shalom Brune-Franklin was and where they could see more of her. With her quick wit and dark humour she became a show favourite. And since appearing on Our Girl the 25 year old has gone on to star in a mystical Netflix series and her next role sees her in one of the most popular cop shows on TV, Line of Duty. So, who is Shalom Brune-Franklin?
In an interview with the Irish Independent in August she revealed that when lockdown was first announced she was in a hotel room in Northern Ireland “drilling” lines for the show. But as soon as she could she got on a plane home to Sydney. After a short break during which filming wasn’t possible, production of season six of Line of Duty has officially restarted. And on-set photographs suggest Brune-Franklin will be at the centre of the action. Digital Spy identified Brune-Franklin on set wearing a police vest and standing by a blacked-out van.
Brune-Franklin was born near London but when she was 15 her parents moved to Perth, Australia. While she was there she joined the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. After she graduated she achieved the accolade of the Hugh Jackman scholarship for most outstanding performer. Speaking to the Irish Independent about her time at drama school she said, “I became aware of my skin colour only when I got into drama school. There was this constant acknowledgement of what I look like and I was thinking 'oh, I'm just this person doing the work'. I couldn't believe how much it came into it. In a way, though, it was a good preparation for the industry."
Her TV work began after she left school with the role of a nurse in an Australian series called Doctor Doctor. Her career continued to go from strength to strength and in 2017 she joined BBC’s Our Girl as Maisie Richards. The part meant she was filming onset in Afghanistan and Nepal. In 2019 she played Bindy in Nine Network’s series Bad Mothers and in 2020 she joined the cast of Cursed. The Netflix series takes a seriously cool, feminist twist on the Arthurian legends and she plays Sister Igraine.
Speaking about her role in Cursed, Brune-Franklin told Radio Times, “I grew up watching Xena: Warrior Princess and it reminds me of that. There are some amazing female characters and our take on Morgan is really refreshing. Instead of being a wicked witch, she’s a tough freedom-fighter. I was raised by incredibly strong black women, so I want to represent that on screen.”
Brune-Franklin's talent isn't just restricted to on-screen performances. When she left drama school David Hare cast her on stage in his political drama Roadkill. Her co-star was Hugh Laurie. “It was a masterclass in acting,” she told the Radio Times, “We had a 12-page scene [together], and they set aside a day to do it. I thought: ‘This is going to be one of the greatest experiences of my life,’ and it was. I still don’t believe it actually happened.”
Line of Duty will be the next big role that Brune-Franklin takes on. While the pandemic has altered a lot of TV scheduling it’s back on track after a break and it’s been reported that the new series will air in 2021. It’d seem that the cast has been desperate to get back to filming as fans have been as Vicky McClure who plays DI Kate Fleming, said, “[we’ve] been sitting on these incredible scripts for some time now, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to it and seeing the Line Of Duty family.”
While there’s no confirmed air date, the first five series of Line Of Duty are available to watch on BBC iPlayer. You’ll be able to watch Brune-Franklin in action when Series 6 airs on BBC One next year.