Not that she was craving for international stardom. But that pretty much seems to be Nimrat Kaur’s calling and destiny. First, Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox turned into an international phenomenon. It is by far the most successful Indian film overseas. And now Nimrat has landed herself a part in one of the biggest fiction serials Homeland on American television.
“It just happened the way it did...I didn’t plan it this way,” says Nimrat speaking from Capetown where she has already started shooting for the series. “I auditioned for Homeland and then moved on. There was no plan to sit and wait for another potentially global project to fall into my lap.”
She stoutly denies getting Homeland because of The Lunchbox. “Things don’t work that way over here. I had to audition for the part and was chosen on the basis of the audition and not because they liked my work in The Lunchbox.” Nimrat admits it was a long wait. “The Lunchbox was released a year ago. I shot for it two years ago. So basically I did my last film two years back. It was a long wait, yes. But it isn’t as if I was smugly waiting for a big international project to fall into my lap after The Lunchbox.”
The actress who stole hearts with her unsentimental yet heartrending performance as a lonely suburban wife in The Lunchbox says she rejected numerous offers to play lonely housewives and other desultory divas that came her way after The Lunchbox. “I must have said no to nearly 450 scripts in 2 years. It wasn’t as if I was being fussy. But nothing seemed right for me.” [OP note: rumour has it Zoya Akhtar offered her a role on Dil Dhadakne Do as Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh's MOTHER - even though PC and NK are the same age]
The part of the Pakistani ISI agent in Homeland did it for Nimrat. There is little she can do to prepare for the part. “We are not given a chance to rehearse. No homework works because the scenes and lines are given when we reach the location.” Nimrat finds this method of working to be distracting. “We did repeated sessions of rehearsals for The Lunchbox. I kept working on my character and her lines until they became a part of me. Here while shooting for Homeland it’s like being on a constant roller coaster.One never knows what lies in store.”
The actress says she is having the time of her life shooting in Capetown. “It is exciting, a completely different experience from The Lunchbox. I am in this for at least 7 episodes. It was meant to be less earlier and has now been increased. So who knows, my role in the series may be increased even further.”