‘I feel that the whole point of being a creative person involves understanding what works or doesn’t work and how one goes about becoming better at their craft,’ says Nimrat Kaur.
After working on the fourth and the eighth season of the television series, Homeland, and the second season of Wayward Pines, another TV series, actor Nimrat Kaur is all set for the release of her next Hollywood project. A couple of months ago, she flew to Prague to shoot for Foundation, which she believes made for one of her best acting experiences. On the home front, she recently tasted success with the Netflix film, Dasvi, where her portrayal of a politician received acclaim.
In a freewheeling chat, the actor talks to us about all things Hollywood and Bollywood. She also opens up on her social media post on body positivity which captured the attention of many. Excerpts from the interview:
You were recently in Prague shooting for the second season of Apple TV+’s Foundation. What drew you to the project?
I have a guest appearance on the show. I just really wanted to have the incredible experience of working with Alex Graves, who is one of the finest directors I’ve ever worked with. He has worked on The West Wing, Game Of Thrones and Homeland. Then there was David S Goyer who was the creator and showrunner. And all my scenes were with the phenomenal actor, Jared Harris, who’s an institution.
Foundation is a sci-fi show, and you had earlier mentioned that it’s one of your favourite genres.
Yes, it’s a personal favourite. I love reading it. I’m a massive geek as far as sci-fi subjects are concerned. Working on Foundation was a real, true treat. It was one of my best experiences, right up there. I’ll always hold it close to my heart.
The show marks your third gig in Hollywood. What was your takeaway from the sets of this one?
After a point in time in your career, you look for opportunities where you can learn and add more to your skillset, and that doesn’t happen every time. You try to bring in your A-game to a part, a set and the people you collaborate with, but rarely do you learn new things about the craft. Every experience is surely a learning experience. But I haven’t come out learning from every experience as I did after Foundation. It was like being back in school. I would often sit on the set even when I wasn’t working and it was truly marvellous.
Closer home, you had a release with Dasvi a couple of months back. While your character Bimla Devi received a good response, the film opened to mixed reviews. Is that something that affected you?
Everybody is not always going to like you in everything they watch you. Everybody has their own preferences and that’s the point of art, cinema and literature.
I feel that the whole point of being a creative person involves understanding what works or doesn’t work or what makes things more exciting or how one goes about becoming better at their craft.
If everybody always loves what you do, then there’s no scope for improvement. And what’s the fun in it? The love and adulation that we got has been so overwhelming that this time around, I didn’t even notice what wasn’t being loved.
Prepping for Bimla Devi required you to gain more than 15 kgs. And sometime back, you took to social media to share how you experienced body-shaming during the process. Do you think it helps when public figures talk about issues like body positivity?
By virtue of being in the public eye, I possibly get more eyeballs and ears than I would if I had been a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer. What I choose to do or say with that attention is my personal prerogative. This time I chose to speak about something which I’ve been noticing for a while through the journey of preparing for this part. I wasn’t sure of what I was going to do about it but it was brewing inside me the whole time. I was looking visibly and visually very different from what I look like. I had something to say and I stayed true to what I felt. That was the reason why I went ahead and did what I did. It’s much against my nature because I’m a low-key person and I don’t like to be extremely out there with the things I do or feel. But I felt that this issue wasn’t just about me.
While the dialogue on body positivity and shattering unrealistic standards of beauty has gained ground, do you think it has changed people’s perception of body image?
Even though conversations about body positivity have become more prevalent – and thank god for that –I feel like no amount of that can possibly be enough. It’s decades and generations of conditioning… The fact that people get away with the things they say, for instance, will take us all a very long time to be extremely cognizant and genuinely thoughtful about, in terms of how and what we say to each other and what the standards of beauty mean to all of us. My words were genuinely heartfelt and I’m very glad that it did resonate with people.
Titas Chowdhury is a journalist based in Mumbai with a keen interest in films and beaches.
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