Nicole Miller (Shortland Street)
|Shortland Street character|
|Portrayed by||Sally Martin|
|First appearance||23 September 2009|
|Introduced by||Steven Zanoski|
|Occupation||Director of Nursing|
Creation and casting
Nicole was created as a love interest for established character Maia Jeffries (Anna Jullienne). Sally Martin had previously auditioned for 4 other roles before being offered the role of Nicole and was described as calling the portrayal of the same-sex relationship, "liberating". She was happy to be cast and enjoyed the relationship as, "It’s something I haven’t experienced in real life so it’s fun to get stuck into it." However, in accepting the role, Martin had to cut her trademark long hair, something that she and her family, were uncomfortable with. In 2011 producers permitted Martin to regrow her hair much to her excitement.
Nicole arrived to Shortland Street after winning a job in September 2009. Many suspected Nicole of being a sadistic stalker who was in love with Morgan Braithwaite (Bonnie Soper), however when Morgan confronted Nicole with the allegation, she was shocked to learn the two were in fact half sisters. After a long period of flirting, Nicole began to date her boss Maia Jeffries (Anna Jullienne) but they broke up following the revelation Maia was a murderer. Nicole was devastated when Morgan was struck by a car and killed and quickly leapt into a relationship with Maia. However the pressure caught Nicole and she fled Ferndale. Maia retrieved her several months later and the two resumed their relationship. In 2011 Nicole was disgusted to learn Maia had cheated on her with Jennifer (Sara Wiseman) and rebounded with Maxwell Avia (Robbie Magasiva). However Maxwell slept with Bethany Hall (Michelle Langstone) and Nicole struggled to forgive him. The two stayed together for several more months but things ended permanently in early 2012. Nicole fell in love with her friend Lana Jacobs (Brooke Williams) but before the two could consummate their relationship, Maia returned and Nicole got seriously injured in a helicopter crash. She survived however but ended things with Lana and Maia. Nicole became Director of Nursing and briefly dated Boyd Rolleston (Sam Bunkall) before falling in love with her best friend Vinnie (Pua Magasiva). However Vinnie left her and Nicole briefly rebounded with Bonnie Deane (Steph Cusick) before committing herself to a life of being single. This was short-lived however when she and Vinnie readmitted their love but she instead began to date Harper Whitley (Ria Vandervis). She and Vinnie confessed their love for each other and soon were back in a relationship. Shortly into the courtship, Nicole fell pregnant and the two decided to become a family. After giving birth Nicole had a seizure caused by a brain bleed. That unfortunately led her into a coma. One week later Nicole woke up and was soon sent home. Leanne, Michael (her step son), Vinnie and Nicole were discussing what they should name their child, and they finally settled on the Samoan name Pele.
An episode that saw Nicole refer to Tauranga as not being as gay friendly as Auckland proved highly controversial. Bay of Plenty Tourism general manager, Tim Burgess believed the show was establishing a "negative stereotype," and that the, "only positive thing I can say is they were pronouncing Tauranga and Mauao correctly." In response to the episode he referred to the writing team as "disappointing and lazy." Burgess also requested an apology.
The storyline that saw Nicole marry herself was heavily criticized, and was singled out by script writer Lynette Crawford-Williams as the single biggest regret she had whilst working on the soap for 13 years. Comedian Guy Williams, who despite describing his love for the show, named the plot as, "a bit weird". Melenie Parkes writing for Yahoo! Entertainment labelled the wedding episode as the most "outrageous" aired in 2013. Matthew Denton of the University of Auckland student magazine, Craccum, named Nicole as the shows 6th most annoying character due to the storyline.
- Botting, Caroline (16 February 2010). "Shortie’s Sally Martin: Fifth time lucky". New Idea (Yahoo! New Zealand).
- New Zealand TV Guide. 11 August 2011. Missing or empty
- Irvine, Ellen (30 April 2010). "Shortland Street's gay jibes anger Tauranga residents". The New Zealand Herald. Bay of Plenty Times. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Shortland St gay remarks outrage Tauranga locals". 3 News. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Tauranga not happy with Shortland St". Newstalk ZB. 30 April 2010. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011.
- "Behind the scenes with the writers of Shortland Street". tvnz.co.nz. Television New Zealand. March 2014. Archived from the original on 9 September 2014.
- Tempest, Chris (11 December 2013). The Edge. Interview with Sharyn & Guy Williams (The Radio Network). Missing or empty
- Parkes, Melenie (25 July 2014). "Shortland Street’s Sally Martin: Nicole’s having a baby! (Or is she?)". Yahoo! Entertainment. Yahoo! New Zealand.
- Denton, Matthew (12 May 2014). "Top 10 Most Annoying Shortland Street Characters". Craccum. Auckland University Students' Association. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014.