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Young Achievers - Parminder Nagra

Parminder Nagra, the girl who made it big and got popular from Bend it Like Beckham, is a Sikh, Punjabi girl born and brought up in England.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2012 12:17 IST

Parminder Nagra, the girl who made it big and got popular from Bend it Like Beckham, is a Sikh, Punjabi girl born and brought up in England.

Her family moved from India to England in the 1960s. She was born and raised in Leicester, and has a younger sister and two younger brothers. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her biological father is a foundry worker, stepfather is a book keeper for his cousin's transport business, and her mother works as a packer in a factory.

Parminder has had no formal acting training. In education apart from completing "A" levels, Nagra has done GCSEs in music and drama at Soar Valley Community College, Leicester.

Her family supported her to become a professional actress when she was 17 years old. She started acting mostly in theater and television productions.

She came to the limelight in the 2002 movie Bend It Like Beckham where she starred as Jesminder 'Jess' Bhamra. She worked hard to fit into Jess' role and practiced with England's only pro girls soccer team to prepare for the role. The film was a box office hit in both the United States and United Kingdom.

Nagra can speak fluent Punjabi and a bit of Hindi. Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster and Edward Norton are her role models in acting.

Did you know?

Parminder Nagra had never kicked a soccer ball before starring as a soccer-crazed teen in Bend It Like Beckham.

Parminder was named to the "Britain's 100 most eligible women" list by The Daily Mirror on July 8, 2003.


Parminder Kaur Nagra
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1975
Place of birth:
Leicester, England
Her parents moved to the UK in 1960s. Her father is a bookkeeper and her mother works in a factory.
Bordeaux International Festival of Women in Cinema's Golden Wave Award for Best Actress for
Bend it Like Beckham
Won Presidential Award
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)'s International Football Personality of the Year
Movieline Young Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Performance by a Female for
Bend It Like Beckham
Won Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy (EMMA) Award for Best Actress (Television) for 'Second Generation'

The other side

"Mindi". 'Parminder' means 'supreme goddess'. Her middle name 'Kaur' means 'princess' and the 'Nag' of 'Nagra' stands for 'snake'. So her full name means 'Supreme Goddess, Princess of Snakes'.

Said What...

Nagra quote:

"I’d say that I am somebody who is hardworking and keen to learn -- although I do have my lazy days!"

Parminder says:

"The character of Jess is very close to me. She is honest, steadfast and a little fighter on the pitch, much like me. She also follows her heart, which is something that I do too." (

Her mantra:

"Trust your instincts." (Variety magazine)