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American show to showcase Indian culture

Emmy Award-winning actor Archie Panjabi says that The Good Wife will promote India through her character in upcoming seasons. Read on know more.

tv Updated: Sep 21, 2010 17:59 IST
Nikhil Taneja

Archie Panjabi, who on August 30 became the first actor of Indian origin to win a Primetime Emmy Award for her supporting role in

The Good Wife

, reveals that the top-rated TV series will showcase India to the West through her character in upcoming seasons.



Says Panjabi, “The great thing about this show and my character, Kalindi Sharma, is that there are no limitations. So the writers of the show are very keen to explore Kalindi’s culture in the upcoming episodes, though it would be interesting to know in which capacity.”



Focus on character


But the actor, who has starred in movies like

Bend It Like Beckham

(2002),

East Is East

(1999),

A Good Year

(2006) and

A Mighty Heart

(2007), adds that in the first season, the focus of the writers was on getting attention for the character, rather than for the ethnicity.



Archie Panjabi

“We weren’t shying away from the ethnicity in the beginning, but we weren’t raving about it either,” she says. “It’s quite an achievement for the writers that they have got people talking about how intriguing her character is, and not about her ethnicity.



“So her name Kalindi Sharma tells you that she is Indian, but that’s not the dominant storyline – it’s her unpredictability. But in time, it’s a great way to show to the West what Indian culture, heritage or values are.”



Panjabi, who is essaying the role of a private investigator in the legal drama, also reveals that when she was selected for the role, her character was broken down to her as a “Bollywood kind of Erin Brockovich private investigator.”



“They just put some adjectives together to give a rough idea of what’s out there,” she laughs. “But the main idea was that this woman is from India and she uses her sexuality to manipulate people. As the character develops, you realise that is just one of her many tricks.”



Honesty is sexy


The actor says that it could have probably been the honesty with which the character behaves that may have sealed the deal for the Emmys.



“She stands out for her honesty and loyalty, though they are not necessarily the qualities you associate with someone who walks around in boots, high heels and sexy clothing. “And that’s why I didn’t want her sexiness to be just through her physical,” she chuckles. “Rather than opening the top buttons of her shirt, I worked on making her confidence attractive. Her dry sense of humour through which she makes people laugh without intending to, has also made her likable.”