Parminder Nagra

Parminder Nagra


10/5/1975, Belgrave, Leicestershire, England, UK

Birth Name

Parminder Kaur Nagra



Also Known As

Parminder K. Nagra
  • Parminder Nagra on Alcatraz.
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes


Parminder Nagra grew up in the town of Leicester, in Leicestershire, England, the oldest of four children born to a bookkeeper father and a factory worker mother.


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Parminder Nagra and her boyfriend of seven years, photographer James Stenson, were married on January 17, 2009. They wed in the traditional Sikh ceremony, called "Anand Karaj," which translates literally as "blissful union" and is considered a holy union between two souls. In December of 2008 the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together, due in the summer of 2009.

    • In 2004, Parminder had the honor of bearing the Olympic torch as it passed through London on the way to Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

    • On July 11, 2007, the University of Leicester awarded Parminder the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

    • While starring in ER, Parminder appeared in four of NBC's "The More You Know" public service announcements. Her topics were anti-prejudice, mentoring, nutrition/physical activity, and self esteem.

    • Parminder was born on the same day and year as British actress Kate Winslet.

    • According to a 2003 article in the British newspaper The Observer, Parminder is fluent in Punjabi and speaks a passable amount of Bengali.

    • When writing the screenplay for Bend It Like Beckham, director Gurinder Chadha envisioned Parminder in the lead character role. Chadha had seen Parminder in several plays on the London stage and was especially impressed with her performances.

    • Parminder Nagra had never played soccer before starring as a teen soccer fanatic in Bend It Like Beckham. To prepare for the film, she and co-star Keira Knightley practiced arduously for months, at times scrimmaging with England's only professional women's soccer team, the Fulham Ladies.

    • Parminder is an accomplished viola player.

    • Parminder has a major burn scar on her upper right leg from a cooking accident she suffered as a seven-year-old. Gurinder Chadha, the writer, director and producer of Bend It Like Beckham, found out about the scar after she had asked Parminder to read for the lead role, but never perceived it as a problem. Instead, Chadha decided to incorporate a story about the scar into the movie.

    • Parminder is 5 feet 3 inches tall.

    • 'Parminder' means "supreme goddess," 'Kaur' means "princess," and the 'Nag' of Nagra means "snake," so her full name, Parminder Kaur Nagra, translates as "Supreme Goddess, Princess of Snakes."

    • She became a professional actress when she was 17 years old and was asked by her former drama instructor to join Hathi Productions, a leading Leicester-based British Asian theatre company.

    • Parminder is a Sikh, born to Sikh parents from the Punjab region of India who emigrated to Great Britain in the 1960s.

    • Parminder did not have any formal training as an actress. Her first role was as a chorus member in a musical. Only a week into rehearsals, she was selected to take the place of the lead actress, who had dropped out. Parminder has at times described herself as having "fallen into" acting due to that unexpected turn of events.

    • Her breakthrough role came when she was cast as the lead in the 2002 surprise hit Bend It Like Beckham.

  • Quotes

    • Parminder Nagra: (on becoming a real "doctor" after receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Leicester) I've been playing one for four and a half years, so it's a little bit odd getting a doctorate. (; July 17, 2007)

    • Parminder Nagra: (about her cultural heritage) Punjabis are prone to get passionate, a bit like the Italians or Greeks, but their mentality is not to mope. They get on with things. (The Observer; August 24, 2003)

    • Parminder Nagra: (about working on the ER set) American television is a very different beast to British TV, more intense and running on adrenaline. It really is like being in hospital at times. We've had to learn to snap on surgical gloves in two seconds, and I spent some time in a real ER. I couldn't cope with the responsibility of the real thing, but I recognise the atmosphere of controlled chaos. (The Observer; August 24, 2003)

    • Parminder Nagra: (on acting on ER) It is just great. It is cool to do the medicine and get the skill of that down, but the real drama is the personal story lines of these people and what they go through. It has been amazing for me, and I've loved playing it. I'm sorry, obviously, that Sharif (Atkins) had to go, but in terms of an acting exercise, it was very cool to be able to play that. It is so of the moment of everything that is going on in the world, and it resonates with everything. They've thrown a good mixture of stuff my way, I cannot complain. I have a good job! (TV Guide; December 7, 2006)

    • Parminder Nagra: The top question I always get is, "What was it like to kiss Jonathan Rhys Meyers, you lucky cow?" What can I say? He was great to kiss. Good lips. It was embarrassing, actually. The first time we had that kissing scene, I actually forgot my lines, I got so lost in it. "There was silence all around me and I thought 'Why is everything so quiet?' I looked around and then said, 'Oh, it's me, isn't it?'" (USA Today; April 7, 2003)

    • Parminder Nagra: (about choosing acting as a career) I was so headstrong. At times, I couldn't understand what I was doing. I just knew I needed to stick with it. It was instinct, and that's what I've always relied upon. (USA Today; April 7, 2003)