Nimrat Kaur: “As Actors, We Have The Power To Move Hearts”
She first caught my eye as the Cadbury Girl stuck in a traffic jam, where she was seen sensuously licking her fingers after eating a chocolate. Later, she made an impact as Ila in the epistolary romance The Lunchbox and also grabbed eyeballs as Tasneem Qureshi in Homeland where she turned baddie with the effortlessness of a sound actor in the making. After featuring in the superhit Airlift, Nimrat Kaur took to another medium to play the female lead in the action-oriented web series The Test Case.
Earlier this week, I caught up with her again – Kaur has since appeared on our cover (January 2014) and featured on Verve’s Power Lists (2014 and 2015) – when she made an appearance as the special guest at the Zoya store in Palladium, Mumbai. The jewellery brand hosted a preview of its new collection, Pezzo D’Arte – a line that gives classical Italian wonders like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Forum, the Pantheon and more a modern interpretation in contemporary delicate settings and finishes.
Excerpts from my conversation with the actor who believes in giving all she has to the role at hand and emerge shining….
On her selection of roles: “I would choose to do anything that is unique – but the role should also be something that I will enjoy doing. For when you take on a project, you end up investing a lot of time in it, so it is very important to love what you are going to do.”
On the role that is closest to her heart: “I think it would be my Captain Shikha Sharma from The Test Case, a web series that I recently did. She had an army background and I felt that I could relate to that entire world since my father was an Indian army officer. And physically, The Test Case was the most challenging thing that I have ever done”
On playing a negative character in Homeland: “I loved playing Tasneem, the Inter-Services Intelligence agent. It was very liberating to play someone who was negative. I think it had a lot to do with getting into the shoes of someone with dark shades on where I could not voice judgement, but just play with utmost honesty.”
On what success means to her: “To me, success is a reward for all the hard work I have done; all the toiling that goes into my work. It is a validation that I have been walking the right path in everything that I have been working on. It culminates into something that is necessary and gives one hope. But, at the same time, it’s very important to remember that success doesn’t teach you any lessons; it’s just part and parcel of the game. I have learned the biggest lessons from my failures, the rejections, everything that didn’t work out.”
On her style quotient: “It is extremely minimalist and classic.”
On her preference in jewellery: “I like basic pieces; something that I can wear with anything. I love pieces that are flexible and are not too heavy or difficult to carry around. But, I must confess that I also love traditional jewellery. It all depends on the occasion and the day.”
On her favourite from the Pezzo D’Arte collection: “It is what I am wearing – the Lariat which has been inspired by the triangular pediment of the Pantheon. Historic monuments hold our attention because of the stories they tell. Translating inspiration from classic structures as beautifully as Zoya has done with this collection is an art. I love the stones, their setting and the cut.”
One piece of jewellery that she always sports: “It is a bracelet that my sister got from New York. It’s something that I can’t leave my house without.”
On the power of being an actor: “I think it is the power to be able to move hearts; to connect with the people who take out two to three hours of their precious time to watch a movie, to be able to talk to people without really knowing them. I think the power lies in making people very happy by doing very little.”
On her biggest strength: “I think it is my mother’s faith.”
On theatre or films as the preferred medium to showcase her skills: “I would say films.”
On her next project: “Things are brewing in the pipeline, but I cannot really talk about them right now. I will, when the time is right.”