Nimrat is spreading her wings

Nimrat is spreading her wings

From print ads, theatre, Bollywood to international television series, Nimrat Kaur has come a long way

Nimrat Kaur’s first job was a 20-minute musical skit at a trade fair centre in Delhi. She was in her first year of college and was paid Rs 10,000 a week. She went on to do anchoring jobs that brought her extra pocket money. Then began her print ad career and with the money she made through that, she moved to Mumbai.

The shift gave her the opportunity to work in music videos of Kumar Sanu, Shreya Ghoshal and Kailash Kher, among others.

While she kept working on smaller roles, Nimrat got her first big break when she became the lead actress of ‘The Lunchbox’, directed by Ritesh Batra. Irrfan Khan was her co-star.

Looking back now, Nimrat sometimes cringes at her work. “Yeah, you know, you always look back at your work now and you’d think certain scenes and moments could have been better. It could just be the angle or the camera you looked into could have been elsewhere. Similarly, there are many things you could go back to and sometimes nothing at all. Then again, I rarely get thrilled with myself when I look at myself on the screen,” the actress tells Showtime.

In 2016, she won many hearts by acting opposite Akshay Kumar in Raja Krishna Menon’s ‘Airlift’. The film was about a Kuwait-based businessman who carried out the evacuation of Indians based there during the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

The film did so well that it was featured in the Indian panorama section of the International Film Festival of India.

Film is her first love
The theatre actor took it slow in Bollywood since her initial success and decided to concentrate on web series for a while. In fact, she hasn’t worked in Bollywood since ‘Airlift’. 
Was it a conscious choice? She says, “I never changed my mind on the film industry. Films will always be my first love. But working in the web space was an interesting opportunity that I didn’t want to say no.” 

She feels that the roles that she got the opportunity to work on were close to her heart. “I got to play an army officer which was really a bit of a surreal experience. Having said that, I would love to work on something new, something I can sink my teeth into. I really can’t wait to have an opportunity that will grab every bit of me and I know that I can take it forward,” she adds. 

War hero
Until then, she’s back to winning hearts by playing Tasneem Qureshi in the American spy thriller ‘Homeland’. 

After what she thought was a one-season-only stint for the series (in season 4), she was surprised when the show’s screenwriter Alex Gansa approached her to be part of season 8, which will premiere on Star World on February 16 at 10 pm.

Nimrat says, “There was no conversation of ever returning to the show or even a possibility of the show since the storyline didn’t seem to need it. But somehow, over the seasons, the story of ‘Homeland’ went into different cities and is now coming back to season eight with the storyline of what they called the ‘longest war of America’.” 

So when she met Alex in September of 2018 and told her to be a part of the show again, “I said yes right away. It was a 100 per cent no-brainer for me,” she adds. 

Staying current
Nimrat plays a Pakistani operative on ‘Homeland’. 

When asked if she found it challenging to keep up with the politics, she says, “I keep abreast with world news a little bit so I have an idea of the political complication between countries today. But thanks to my role, I do get to think about why politicians make certain decisions.”

In between her readings and shots, she did take crash courses from the team to understand political history and contemporary politics. 

And given the current political scenario in our country, can she perhaps explain things for us? 

She laughs, “My work did open up my mind on how things work and understand certain realities, but the Indian political system is very different from how Pakistan works. Let’s just 
say it’s interesting to delve into different realities that exist in the world right now.”

Home project
While her audience watches her work on television, Nimrat is taking a break from working on screen and concentrating on her new house. 

“I’m taking some time off to renovate the house; it’s taking up all my time and energy. That’s all the work I’m doing now,” she says.

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