Poorna Jagannathan to be a regular in HBO series ‘The Night Of’

Indian American actress will be seen playing the role of Naz’s mother Safar Khan on the show, which premiered in India on Star World Premiere HD on July 13

India At Large staff

Remember the short-haired Delhi girl trying to get a divorce from her very ‘Delhi,’ hot-headed bully of a husband (played by Imran Khan) in the movie Delhi Belly? After playing roles in various popular international TV shows like House of Cards, Law and Order and The Game, Indian American actress Poorna Jagannathan will be featured in HBO’s TV show The Night Of as a series regular.

The Night Of follows the journey of lawyer Jack Stone (John Turturro), who seeks to absolve a young Pakistani-American student, Naz (Riz Ahmed) accused of brutally murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. As the drama unfolds, the audiences are let in on the pitfalls of the judicial system while they go through a whirlwind of different emotions ranging from empathy to utter outrage.

Jagannathan will be seen playing the role of Naz’s mother Safar Khan on the show, which will premiere in India on Star World Premiere HD on July 13.

She says she is “very proud” to be a part of American television.

Asked if she feels television could surpass cinema, Jagannathan told IANS from Los Angeles on the phone: “Yes, I think so. I go to the movies now with my son. Whenever I am in a theatre, I would be wearing 3-D glasses. I don’t engage with cinema in theatres the way I used to. There has to be an exception.”

“I am very proud to be a part of American television,” she added.

Talking about the show’s storyline and its relevance in modern America, the actress said: “We are a middle-class Muslim family in New York… It is a vital storyline. It couldn’t be a more significant time for The Night Of to drop, and it couldn’t be politically a more relevant time (for it to air).”

Her acting ventures on the big screen include The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, due for release later in 2016.

Jagannathan also initiated and produced the play Nirbhaya by Yael Farber, which won the ‘2013 Amnesty International Award’ and was called by The Telegraph as the “One of the most powerful pieces of theatre you’ll ever see”. She was featured among the top 10 in Femina magazine’s ‘India’s 50 most beautiful women’ in 2012 and, in 2014, she was named among the top 50 most powerful women in India.

The daughter of a diplomat, Jagannathan was born in Tunis, Tunisia but grew up in Pakistan, Ireland, India, Brazil and Argentina. She began her college education at the University of Brasilia, Brazil but graduated in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. On scholarship, she started her Master’s from The Actor’s Studio, one of the world’s top drama schools, but left after the first year.

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