Nancy Brunning: Nurse Jaki Manu to Strength of Water

Posted on 20 March 2012

Nancy Brunning's television debut was in the first episode of Shortland Street as series regular Nurse Jaki Manu. She turned in a memorable performance as gang girl Tania in What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, and played a fun loving lesbian in When Love Comes.  Brunning has appeared in a number of TV projects including Mataku and Fish Skin Suit. As well as acting, she also directed the WWII-era short Journey to Ihipa. In this ScreenTalk, Brunning talks about:

  • How it took six months to get used to working on the set of Shortland Street
  • Feeling the pressure of playing the only Māori female character on primetime TV
  • Having to tell her father she was playing a lesbian in When Love Comes
  • Writing a diary to develop her tough role in What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
  • Learning to stand up to director Ian Mune on set
  • Finding it hard to work out the character of Joy in The Strength of Water
  • Why a particular scene in the movie proved to be the hardest to shoot

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.



interview, actor, shortland street, fish skin suit, jaki manu, what becomes of the broken hearted, when love comes, mataku, journey to ihipa, screentalk, nancy brunning


by Aue Tuhoe on 04 April 2012 at 12:00 pm

Nancy Brunning is my favourite Maori actor. I have seen people moved to tears watching her stage performances. Mauri ora Nancy!

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