Actor Nimrat Kaur on the American work ethic, meeting Amitabh Bachchan, and why she has stopped buying milk
Birthday: March 13
Place of birth: Pilani, Rajasthan
School/college: DPS Noida/ Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi
First break: 2004, in the song Tera mera pyaar sung by Kumar Sanu and Shreya Ghoshal
High point of your life: My sister’s wedding this year
Low point of your life: The death of my father
Currently I have...Just finished the second season of M Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines
So what was a girl like you doing in a spooky town like Wayward Pines?
In the show I played Rebecca, an architect who has constructed the town. She has an intriguing journey in the story. She’s one of the good guys, but let’s say that she’s very complicated.
How different was it working on an American production?
There is time management, dignity of labour and more equality here, and we can learn from that. But culturally, our work ethic is different. In India, even Delhi and Mumbai have their own distinct work cultures.
One thing that you miss about home when you are away...
My cats. I live with them in Mumbai, they are two fools: Kitkat and Karamchand.
Can you still eat five cans of condensed milk in a day like you once told us you did?
Hahaha! No! I haven’t beaten my record since and don’t tempt me. I’m far away from my sugar craving days. But see, my mind’s already wandering.
What is your fool-proof red carpet look that never fails?
To wear whatever enhances my shape, be it a sari or a gown. There’s no short-cut. There’s hours of makeup, you’re in painful shoes so you learn to keep roll-up flats in your clutch, and tissue for lipstick stains.
One lie you often get away with...
“I’m so tired.” I have a nice tired voice too. People always leave me alone then.
How has life changed since The Lunchbox released in 2013?
It’s opened up so many opportunities. I get to live a different life every now and then, as a character and an actress. I was in Cape Town for six months shooting for Homeland and then in Vancouver for Wayward Pines.
One role you wish you’d played...
I’m obsessed with Chaalbaaz (1989). I always wonder if I could play Anju and Manju better than Sridevi.
The last time you remember when you were star-struck...
Strangely, it’s not the Western celebrities that have got to me. But I was star-struck meeting Mr [Amitabh] Bachchan two years ago. He walked into the green room I was in at an awards event. He knew my name and told me he loved my Cadbury’s ad and The Lunchbox. I was floored!
But there’s one celebrity you’re hoping to run into...
Meryl Streep. I know, I know it’s a big cliché. But I can’t help it. I loved her in Out Of Africa (1985) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995).
You’ve said you’ve never managed to boil milk without a disaster – have things improved on that front?
Alas no! I’ve just stopped buying milk and life is easier now.
One place to escape the media...
Any place that has a forest, where I can go on a nice hike!
The last book you read...
Devdutt Pattanaik’s Gita and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The best part about brown people on TV today...
It finally mirrors the society we work and live in. It’s about time we saw that multicultural world on TV too.
If you woke up and turned into a man…
People often ask me this and I’m stumped. So here goes: I’d put on a pair of high heels and see what that would be like.
A film I’d recommend to every foreigner
Mr India (1987)
A foreign film every Indian should watch
A film that still makes me cry...
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
A film that’s a guilty pleasure
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
A film I’ve watched often...
Notting Hill (1999)
From HT Brunch, August 21, 2016
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