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Verve People
July 07, 2016

International Impact: Archie Panjabi

Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena

For turning in yet another bravura performance in Shetland, after her commanding act in The Good Wife

Though success has followed in her footsteps over the years in the global arena, Archie Panjabi believes in staying ‘humble, happy and hungry’. The star has been lauded for playing dynamic and sophisticated characters; top of the list is the strong Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife that wound up earlier this year. The Emmy winner has inked a one-year contract to star in ABC’s murder trial drama pilot The Jury, playing the juror Monica. She has also made news with San Andreas which was one of Warner Brothers’ biggest grossing films of the year, has toplined the six-part BBC series Shetland that was a huge ratings success, and also showcased a different side to her talent in the US comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Breaking Indian stereotypes in British and American projects, she believes that the Indian diaspora offers a huge pool of unexplored talent that is waiting to be discovered. She sports a social conscience as evidenced by her philanthropic work with Rotary International’s End Polio Now Campaign, for which she has been an active ambassador for the last five years. The actor often returns to India — she spent part of her childhood in the UK and a part of it in Mumbai — to visit friends and family.

On toplining Shetland: “I love it when I read a script and I can’t put it down no matter where I am or what I am doing. That is what happened when I first read Shetland — it was brilliantly written, with a wonderful cast and crew.”

The best and worst moments of The Good Wife: “The best was winning an Emmy in the first year of playing Kalinda Sharma, and the worst was saying goodbye to Kalinda.”

Most embarrassing moment: “When I was presenting at the BAFTAs, I almost announced the winner without announcing the nominees. Luckily,  they stopped me in time. The audience found it hilarious.”

Personal favourites on TV: “Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax — two very different characters which she plays brilliantly.”

On Indian soaps: “Unfortunately the only Indian soap I know is ‘washing powder Nirma’. That tune has stayed with me since I first saw the ad as a child; I could not stop dancing to it! I haven’t seen many Indian soaps.”

Personal style statement: “Individualistic.”

Dressing up for the red carpet: “Is always fun because I usually have my family, my adorable Lhasa apso, Quincy, and my friends with me. We put on music, dance, eat and have a party before we have even hit the red carpet!”

Fitness mantra: “Do everything in moderation. I do work out and I generally eat healthily. But, to tell you a secret, I do find it hard to resist a good Sindhi biryani.”

Read about our next power woman, Bardish Chagger.

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