Bend It Like Beckham Star Parminder Nagra Rejected From TV Show As They ‘Already Had An Indian Person’
Parminder Nagra has revealed that she was rejected for an acting job because the show ‘already had an Indian person’ in the cast.
Nagra is best known for her lead role in Bend It Like Beckham as well as her six-year stint in the medical drama ER. However, despite starring in these high-profile roles, she has revealed that there are still racial issues in the entertainment industry and has detailed some of her personal experiences.
Speaking to the Celebrity Catch Up podcast, Nagra commented that she was concerned about how minorities were cast, saying, ‘My fear is that – which I think was happening a few years ago – it became about, ‘Oh well let’s get this box ticked.’ The actor went on to illustrate this point by sharing her own experiences.
Nagra discussed an occasion when she had been rejected for a role because there was another Indian person in the cast:
I remember asking to go for a job because an actress basically left – it was a well-known TV show here. I remember phoning my agent and I went, ‘Do you think maybe you could just suggest me? The character is very non-specific in terms of family and between 35 and 40 [years of age].
And the word that came back was that they’ve already got an Indian person on the cast.
I went, ‘Yeah but I’m completely different to that person’. Is that ever gonna happen when you say that, ‘No we’ve already got a white person on the show’?
The actor added that she doesn’t believe that conversations around these issues are happening, and that this makes it a challenging problem to address.
This isn’t the first occasion that Nagra has discussed the challenges she has faced. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor revealed that a magazine refused to put her on the cover alongside Bend It Like Beckham co-star Kiera Knightley because of the colour of her skin. The actor has said that this is one of many ‘annoying’ experiences she has encountered.
Despite these challenges, and the feeling of tiredness when it comes to facing these problems, the actor is still hopeful that things can change. Speaking to the Celebrity Catch Up podcast, she noted the success of Riz Ahmed and Priyanka Chopra as examples of racial progress being made within the entertainment industry.
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