The slow and steady Nimrat Kaur

Actor says she rejected nearly 450 scripts in the last 2 years before taking up a role in television series Homeland.

Ians August 06, 2014


Critically-acclaimed actor Nimrat Kaur has based her career in film on the notion that too high a leap leads to a fall. Amid raging competition from her contemporaries, she has remained slow and steady in terms of her film choices. Gaining international stardom may not have been her prime objective, but she seems to be destined to achieve it, as she has landed a part in the famous television series Homeland, which is preceded by her stint in The Lunchbox (2013).

Kaur said that in the time between these two projects, she refused multiple roles in the search for “something right.” “I shot for The Lunchbox two years ago and that was my last film. It was a long wait, but it isn’t as if I was smugly waiting for a big international project to fall in my lap after The Lunchbox,” she said.

The actor, who is presently in Cape Town, where she is shooting for Homeland, stole hearts as a lonely suburban wife in The Lunchbox. She shared that she rejected numerous offers to play a lonely housewife and other desultory divas, which came her way after The Lunchbox.

“I must have said no to nearly 450 scripts in two years. It’s not that I was being fussy, but nothing seemed right for me,” she said. The part of a Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agent in Homeland did it for Nimrat.

Kaur finds the processes of shooting for The Lunchbox and Homeland to be polarised. “We are not given a chance to rehearse. No homework works because the scenes and lines are given when we reach the location.” She feels this method is distracting. “We did repeated sessions of rehearsals for The Lunchbox. I kept working on my character and her lines until they became a part of me. Shooting for Homeland is like constantly being on a roller coaster,” she commented.

Of her experience of starring in Homeland, she said, “It is exciting... it’s a completely different experience from The Lunchbox. I am in at least seven episodes of the show. Earlier, it was meant to be less, but has been increased now. So who knows? Maybe, my role in the series will be increased even further,” she added.

The role “just happened” for Nimrat. “I didn’t plan it this way. I auditioned for Homeland and then moved on. There was no plan to sit and wait for another potentially global project,” she said, rejecting the idea that she bagged the role in Homeland because of The Lunchbox. “Things don’t work that way over here. I had to audition for the part and was chosen on the basis of the audition and not because they liked my work in The Lunchbox.”

Kaur, who is also a stage actor, also featured in Anurag Kashyap’s film Peddlers (2012), which was screened at Cannes in May 2012. The Lunchbox was screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. 

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2014.

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