ER’s resident doctor tells us about her gritty new film set on the streets of East London

STUDIO: Congratulations on the movie – it's a great look into the grit of East London life.  How does it feel to be back on home soil?

Parminder Nagra: It's a little funny, I only arrived yesterday, so I'm a little jet lagged more than anything.  But it's nice to be back in the UK and lovely seeing everyone from the film again.


STUDIO: You are becoming one of Britain's best exports over in the US.  How does it feel coming home to this reception?

PN: God, I don't know what to say.  I guess I just try and do the best job I can and hope it works.


STUDIO: You are touching so many genres at the moment – your history is comedy, this movie is a thriller and, of course, you crossed over into hit TV shows in the US.  Do you have a favourite?

PN: You know, I kind of like doing the JJ Abrams thing (Parminder recently starred in US TV series Alcatraz, directed by Lost's JJ Abrams).  It's a bit sci-fi and out there.  I'd quite like to do more quirky, off the wall stuff.  I like doing things that are a bit different.  I enjoyed doing this thriller, as I've not really done a thriller before.  I don't mind really, as long as its good.


STUDIO: How have your family taken your success?
PN: My family always support me; some of them are here tonight actually.  They drove up from Leicester to be here this evening.  They have been amazing.  It's nice being home to see them and, of course, get some home cooked food.


STUDIO: You are quite recognised over here in the UK being the face of Bend It Like Beckham.  Are you recognised much over in LA?

PN: It's funny, people fade into the background in LA, but it's when I open my mouth that it clicks with people and they go, 'I recognise that voice'.  But generally I quite easily and happily fade into the background.  That's just the way it happens.


STUDIO: You've worked with some massive stars over the years – Ray Winstone, Kiera Knightly...  Do you still get star struck?

PN: I've been so lucky to have worked with some amazing people. Stephen [Dillaine] (who played Merlin in the 2004's King Arthur) on this movie, I was just like, 'Oh my God'.  And even Jonas [Armstrong] (who played Robin Hood in the 2009 TV series) was so fantastic.  In LA you just see people going about their daily business. I saw Jason Batemen a few days ago just jogging, and I was like 'Oh my God'.  Only in LA would you get this, and when you are a huge fan of those people it's absolutely amazing.


STUDIO: What other projects have you got in the pipeline?

PN: Well, I just finished Alcatraz.  I'm doing a TV show called Psych at the moment, which takes me back to comedy, which is a breath of fresh air really.  I'm doing it with Drule Hill who was in The West Wing when I was on ER, so it's nice to get to work together.


STUDIO: Did you watch ER when you were younger?

PN: Oh, I did.  I loved it and always wanted to be part of something like that, so when I was asked it was a no brainer for me.



Words by Nishadi Ranasinghe.



Twenty8K opens in cinemas September 10th.

“I’d like to do more off the wall stuff. I like doing things that are a bit different.”

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