She’s taking Wentworth Correctional Facility by storm and has won the adoration of fans from Australia and beyond and, today, one of my new favourite actresses, the ridiculously talented Nicole da Silva, celebrates her birthday. With previous roles in All Saints, Dangerous and Carla Cometti PD, Nicole was already well established in the field of acting, but arguably her biggest break has come from her debut in Prisoner Cell Block H re-imagining, Wentworth Prison.
She already has an ASTRA for Outstanding Female Performance in her role as conflicted top dog, Franky Doyle, and here, I take a step back and look at one of drama’s best recent creations.
Despite her first scene being caught in the midst of a lesbian romp with her on/off girlfriend Kim Chang, there is a lot more to Franky than meets the eye and she is a character whose loyalties struggle between her desire for power and her conscience to be a good friend. This conflict often veers to extreme levels, with Franky giving hugs and advice in one episode, and stabbing someone in the gut with a fork in the very next.
Armed with a trademark cheeky grin, Nicole brings an element of fun to Franky that wasn’t evident in her original incarnation back in the Cell Block H days. Even though she has been seen ordering a kneecapping by pool ball and roughly foraging in someone’s nether regions for drugs, it’s impossible not to like Franky.
Sassy, bold and confident, viewers took Franky to their hearts as she stood up to prison bully Jacs Holt. With Jacs and her biro-filled neck now burning in the pits of hell, Franky has taken the reigns and is slowly making the transition to the big bad bully herself; yet she still maintains her charm and vulnerability; a credit both to Nicole’s range of acting and the brilliant team of writers behind Wentworth.
Along with being the hero in her game of cat and mouse with Jacs, Franky developed a sizzling yet subtle bond with previous governor Erica, which threatened to overflow into something more. Her lust, and often hinted at love, for Erica added yet another layer to Franky, and her devastation in the wake of Erica’s departure and Joan Ferguson’s mockery of the letters she sent put Franky in her most raw human like state yet.
Now, as Series 2 rumbles on, Franky is being forced to be more brutal and, while she plays the tough girl extremely well, it’s the softer side to Franky that really is the best bit. Alone, we see Franky crumbling under the pressures that being ruthless is having on her and Nicole’s performances have been nothing short of exceptional.
On the day of her birthday, who else is a fan of Nicole da Silva? Leave me your thoughts below and give me a follow on Twitter for more news, views and reviews. As well as my epic banter, of course. https://twitter.com/Our_manPLA
Stay tuned for Part Two of my Wentworth review this week, which will look at Episode 3 as a whole.
Written by Our Man In The North