Her Bollywood debut in actor Aamir Khan’s home production Delhi Belly last year left audiences asking for more. But, actor Poorna Jagannathan hasn’t been seen in any Hindi film since because the 39-year-old will only sign stuff which is worth it.
“I’m not willing to work on mediocre scripts and that may mean I work far less than I’d like to, but I’m getting used to that idea ... I’m drawn to good writing. So if I’m on a project, it has to be worth it,” says the actor, who will be next seen in Ayan Mukerji’s Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.
But hasn’t Bollywood been cruel to her in leaving her as just a one-film wonder? “I don’t think it’s only a Bollywood mindset. It happens in every country. I remember reading Penelope Cruz’s story and it took her years to get accepted — it’s a struggle for outsiders to break through anywhere,” says Poorna, who has now managed to bag HBO’s crime drama, Criminal Justice.
Currently in the US shooting for it, Poorna plays Safar Khan, a Pakistani woman whose son is accused of committing a murder.
Born in Tunisia, she currently lives between New York and Mumbai, and doesn’t mind juggling. “If I like the project, I’m willing to go anywhere. But I’m still very much plugged into the New York scene. So the casting directors there are open to auditioning me even through they know I’ve moved to India,” says the actor, whose last release was Peace Love & Misunderstanding alongside actor Jane Fonda.
She will next be seen in Thanks For Sharing, which also stars Tim Robbins, Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow. “Gwyneth is nothing short of amazing and super down to earth. I had no scenes with Mark Ruffalo unfortunately.”