Parminder Nagra Goes From Football to Guns



Indian-origin British actress Parminder Nagra, fondly remembered as a football player infatuated with the sport in “Bend It Like Beckham,” is now seen shooting guns in her television show “The Blacklist.” And she loves it.


In the crime drama, Nagra plays CIA agent Meera Malik and says she enjoys doing the action sequences.


“I love my character. I had always wanted to do action,” Nagra, the Punjabi actress born and brought up in Britain’s Leicester, told IANS in an email interaction.


“This job totally came out of left field and here I am getting to do what I always wanted to do. I love doing the action sequences. My character also comes across as somebody who clearly has a lot of knowledge, who’s clearly been through a lot, like she’s at the top of her game,” she said.


Earlier seen in popular TV shows like “Alcatraz” and “Psych,” the actress says that the interesting part about “The Blacklist” is that she is “playing somebody who actually is a grownup and carries herself with authority.”


Since her character leads an active lifestyle, Nagra had to keep herself fit, but the 38-year-old says she hardly had any time to prepare for the role.


“When I got the role, I got it three days before we were about to start shooting; so I didn’t have any time to prepare for the role. Thank god, I try and keep myself relatively fit,” she said.


The “ER” star also tries to work on her physique.


“I obviously just do my general fitness that I do…Trying to organize some sort of training is not always easy, but I try to get in a bit of boxing and a combat that would help me,” she said.


The first season of “The Blacklist” is currently being aired on Star World Premiere HD.


Nagra was initially worried as one of her first scenes on the show required her to hold a gun and chase somebody.


“I had to look like I know what I’m doing and doing it really well. And honestly, I was worried. I was like, ‘I’ve never done this before. I’ve seen it being done, but I’ve not (done it).’


“Luckily, there were people on the set and we have a technical advisor…Since the show has been filming, I’ve been out with him individually and worked with weapons,” she said.


Nagra, the mother of a four-year-old son, feels that after playing the role, she has become stronger.


“I’d like to think I have a bit of strength that Meera has,” she said and added, “I actually think playing this character has made me stronger because it’s kind of empowering playing somebody who’s in the position that she’s in and is respected as she is.”

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