Archie Panjabi

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Archie Panjabi

Born

5/31/1972, Edgware, Middlesex, England, UK

Birth Name

Archana Kaur Punjabi

Gender

Female

Also Known As

Archie Panabi
  • Angelina Jolie and Archie Panjabi attend...
  • Angelina Jolie and Archie Panjabi attend...
  • Archie Panjabi arrives at The Chopard Tr...
  • Archie Panjabi arrives at The Chopard Tr...
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes

Biography

EDIT

Archie Panjabi, who was born Archana Kaur Punjabi in West London, is a British actress of Sindhi descent most known for her role as Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nonami in the 2007 Golden Globe nominated drama A Mighty Heart. Archie spent a portion of her childhood in…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2010, Archie won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series playing Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife.

    • On her spare time, Archie enjoys unwinding in the pub or having long walks with her dog or going to the gym.

    • Awards & Nominations:
      2002 (W) - Personality of the Year Award, BBC Mega Mela Award
      Asian Life, for Bend It Life Beckham
      2003 (N) - Best Actress, Royal Televison Society Award, for Grease Monkeys
      2005 (W) - Shooting Star Award, UK Shooting Star Berlin Film Festival, for Yasmin
      2005 (W) - Best Actress in a Leading Role, Reims Festival, for Yasmin
      2005 (W) - Prix Ciné Femme Best Actress, Mons International Festival of Love Films, for Yasmin
      2005 (W) - Chopard Trophy Best Actress - Breakthrough Performance, Cannes Film Festival, for A Mighty Heart

    • Film and TV Movie Credits:
      Espion(s) (2009) as Anna
      The Happiness Salesman (2009) as Karen
      Be Good (2009) as Animal Adoption Officer
      My World (2008) as Teacher
      Traitor (2008) as Chandra Dawkin
      Love Triangle (2007)
      I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007) as Casting Girl
      Lezioni di volo/Flying Lessons (2007)
      A Good Year (2006) as Gemma
      A Very Social Secretary (2005) as Ashley
      Chromophobia (2005) as Sarita
      Yasmin (2004) as Yasmin Husseini
      Final Demand (2003) as Farida
      This Little Life (2003) as Niala
      Cross My Heart (2003) as Sumi
      Arranged Marriage (2002) as Shashi
      The Secret (2002) as Nadia's Probation Officer
      Ivor the Invisible (2001) as Leila
      Delilah (2001) as Adult Pim
      In the Beginning (2000) as Basya, Pharaoh's Daughter
      Tough Love (2000) (TV) as Chandra (Mr Jones)
      Under the Moon (1995) as Heena
      Bideshi (1995) as Joyoti

    • She is married to Raj Nihlipandi.

    • Archie graced the cover of the July 2007 issue of New York Moves magazine.

    • Aside from being a television and film actress, Panjabi also lends her voice for Indian characters on the radio. She voiced Blaze, an aspiring Indian Princess actress in Westway, a radio drama by BBC World Service.

    • In 2000, she appeared in a television commercial for the AA car breakdown service.

    • Archie carries around with her a small, gold protection amulet given by her Guru from Malaysia.

    • When she changed her first name from Archana to Archie, casting directors initially mistook her to be a man.

    • Her character Megan Sharma on Sea of Souls was the first role she's played that wasn't particularly written for an Asian.

    • She was featured in the Student and Graduate Successes section of her Alma Mater's alumni newsletter, Brunel Link in 2003.

  • Quotes

    • Archie: I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an actor. I never even thought about other careers. The acting field is certainly not the path many Indian parents encourage their children to take, but mine were very supportive. They wanted me to have an education, but understood that this is what I wanted to do.

    • Archie: I have always let the lack of Indian actors in the industry drive me, not hold me back. I remember an agent in L.A. telling me a few years ago that an Indian actor wouldn't ever make it in Hollywood, but my ethnicity has helped me.

    • Archie: I had a dialect coach to get an American accent, and then another dialect coach to come off it a bit. There is something deep and mysterious in the voice when it isn't too high-pitched American.

    • Archie: Coming to New York is like a big hug, everyone is so welcoming. There's something about here, everyone makes you feel so at home. I miss my family of course, but I don't miss London that much. I was worried, but I feel really at home. Everyone says that who comes here from London, but I didn't believe them.

    • Archie: I'd love to say I made the smart decision of picking projects that became hits, but with 'The Good Wife,' I read the script and something inside me said, 'I love this, I want to do this.'

    • Archie: I knew what I wanted to do for my entire life, from nursery to university. I've always been geared towards wanting to act. I've stuck with it, dedicated time to it.

    • Archie: You can have all the agents and publicists in the world but no one's ever going to give you 110 per cent like someone who loves you.

    • Archie: Sometimes my ethnicity is relevant, other times not. I definitely get the best of both worlds.

    • Archie: Luckily my parents were not against my ambition, they've always been very supportive. But they were adamant that I went to university first.

    • Archie: It was the success of 'Bend it Like Beckham' which got my name out there. 'A Mighty Heart' also helped.

    • Archie: I think it is vital to fight to do something you want to do despite not gaining your community's or your friends' approval.

    • Archie:
      I remember sitting in school and thinking, 'I don't know why I'm here, because I know I'm going to act and I know I'm going to America.'

    • Archie: I loved eating and I did put on weight. I never actually felt fat until I started going for castings, for auditions.

    • Archie: I love roles where I have to transform myself.

    • Archie: I like to cook Indian food when I can. I find the process of creating a home-cooked meal to be unwinding.

    • Archie: I feel like I have one foot in New York, one foot in London and one foot in India. But it's important to me to invest time with family.

    • Archie: I don't ever want to be hugely famous because I had a little taste of it after 'East Is East' and 'Bend It.'

    • Archie: I am one of the new characters in the brand new series of 'Postman Pat.' It has been a joy to do.

    • Archie: At the end of the week, it's nice to just hang out in a pair of jeans and let my hair down. I need a break from all that fashion!

    • Archie: My mother told me not to listen to anyone. She had been told that she wouldn't be able to teach and she did.

    • Archie: I'd love to do a romantic comedy. And perhaps, if the character was right and I had a good gut instinct, a Bollywood movie. And I'd love to direct. One day. I'm learning a lot on the set of 'The Good Wife.'

    • Archie: I am still married, yes - no children. I have Benzo, though; he's my dog, a Lhasa apso.

    • Archie: I've always been quite psychic and believe there's a reason why things happen and that we need to learn from them.

    • Archie: I like to do new things, so I always take on roles that I feel will keep me on my toes. I never want to pigeon myself, so I always like to surprise myself. I believe in versatility and so I would play anything as long as it was a challenge.

    • Archie: The predictable thing about 'The Good Wife' is how unpredictable 'The Good Wife' is.

    • Archie: I went out for a film where they wanted seven brothers and one sister, so I was there for half a day while they were waiting for 'Archie' to read for a boy... I've had drivers come to pick me up in England looking for a blond, blue-eyed Scottish boy.

    • Archie: I went to Brunel University and very much wanted to go on to do a PhD in management, but then my acting career started to take off. In those days when you switched on the box there were hardly any brown or black faces.

    • Archie: Since I was a baby my goal was to be on TV because film was just impossible - you never got any Asian women in Western cinema. I grew up wanting to be in 'East-Enders' because film wasn't even a dream. The community were very much like, 'How can you want to act? It's such a low-class profession.'

    • Archie: The generation that migrated to the West in the 1970s or 1960s has now lived more in the West than India, and India has changed so much. My parents fall into that category.

    • Archie: My mother wanted to be a teacher when she was young, and my father didn't approve of it, so she fought very hard to become one. And she did it. So when I said I wanted to become an actress, my mother was very supportive. She always said to me, 'There's no such thing as 'can't.'

    • Archie: There is a big misconception about arranged marriage. Yes, it can mean that you meet someone and then have to marry them, but this was my mother saying, 'I'm going to introduce you to so-and-so - If you don't like them, fair enough.'

    • Archie: When I was younger I was fat. I was never conscious of it and was content with who I was because I was so loved. My mother never told me to lose weight and my father doted on me, but my agent told me. I tried, but I loved Indian food too much.

    • Archie: You have this impression from England that New Yorkers can be quite aggressive, but certainly the people that I've bumped into and the friends I've made here don't seem that way. Just walking down the street and asking for directions, people seem to be very helpful and happy to help.

    • Archie: I always knew I wanted to be an actress but used to wonder if I would ever find a man who would accept that about me. I guess I am lucky to have eventually found someone who, in addition to guiding me, reads my scripts and talks to me about it. I treasure his advice. I always feel there's two of us in this and mentally it keeps me stable.

    • Archie: (about working with Angelina Jolie in "A Mighty Heart") Great fun. We just clicked as soon as we met. I say it's probably because we're both Geminis, I tend to get on extremely well with Geminis, it's like you find your twin. And we tapped into each other's energies really well. Because it was the two of us and six men and not just in this industry I think women there's always some sort of tension, more than likely the women don't get on and the men do, but I think everybody was really surprised that we got on really well, so it was us against them and I think they were scared of us. (Laughing)

    • Archie: (on the lessons she learned after doing "A Mighty Heart") It was all so obviously sad, I mean how could you not feel upset and angry over something like that. But what I did learn from the entire incident and now after making the movie, is that it is always better to not have any bitter feelings or any hatred but to come out of these times with dignity and grace. That is one of the things I learned from Marianne Pearl and it is truly a great message.

    • Archie: One of the things I love about my career is, if you choose your projects carefully, you can go from one character, and I think every actor has the ability to do it, and you can just completely transform yourself.

    • Archie: I believe one of the most important ways of combating racism - and trying to get people to accept everyone for who they are - is to just cast from a group of people and see which one is right.

    • Archie: (about her view on spirituality) I've always been quite psychic and believe there's a reason why things happen and that we need to learn from them. I think that is especially important in this business, it chews a lot of people up. It's one of the hardest professions in the world to maintain any kind of stability.

    • Archie: (on her wanting to become an actress) My parents were very supportive, which was truly great and I did finish school, because they wanted me to have something to fall back on, just in case. So as long as I satisfied that concern, they were fully supportive.

    • Archie: I like to do new things, so I always take on roles that I feel will keep me on my toes. I never want to pigeon myself, so I always like to surprise myself. I believe in versatility and so I would play anything as long as it was a challenge.

    • Archie: (on the acting profession) This business does really rob you of your innocence. I feel a constant struggle all the time. I don't ever want to be hugely famous because I had a little taste of it after East is East and Bend It.

    • Archie: I think it is vital to fight to do something you want to do despite not gaining your community's or your friends' approval.

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