+

Nina Wadia: A Journey From Mumbai To The UK And Beyond

Mumbai-born UK actress Nina Wadia still cherishes her memories of Dadar Parsi Colony, where she lived before her family moved to Hong Kong and later to the UK. Over the decades, Wadia has made a significant mark in British television, representing the desi voice in popular shows like ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and ‘EastEnders.’ Her recent […]

Nina Wadia: A Journey From Mumbai To The UK And Beyond
Nina Wadia: A Journey From Mumbai To The UK And Beyond

Mumbai-born UK actress Nina Wadia still cherishes her memories of Dadar Parsi Colony, where she lived before her family moved to Hong Kong and later to the UK. Over the decades, Wadia has made a significant mark in British television, representing the desi voice in popular shows like ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and ‘EastEnders.’ Her recent work includes playing Mother Fate in Netflix’s ‘The Sandman,’ a role she is excited to reprise for Season 2 of the fantasy series.

In a recent interview, Wadia shared her experience narrating ‘The Grand Indian Hotel,’ a documentary streaming on BBC Player on Prime Video Channels. “When you do series like this, it is done from a Western perspective… it is done for a Western audience. And the fact that they asked me to do the narration, I think it showed the respect that they want to have for the industry over there,” Wadia remarked. The documentary aims to reveal the intricacies of Indian hospitality through the lens of the Oberoi Hotels, showcasing both its splendor and occasional mishaps.

Reflecting on her role in ‘The Sandman’ Season 2, Wadia expressed her excitement about the upcoming season. “I play Mother Fate, one of the three fates. We’re currently filming Season 2, and I think it’s even better than Season 1. I’ve definitely enjoyed the scripts more this year,” she shared.

Wadia’s journey in the UK began in the 1980s and 1990s when she was one of the few desi faces on British TV. Born in Bombay, she moved to Hong Kong at nine and then to the UK at eighteen to pursue acting. After co-writing and performing in the comedy show ‘Do You Eat With Your Fingers?’, she caught the attention of producer Anil Gupta, leading to her role in ‘Goodness Gracious Me.’

Despite her success, Wadia faced challenges as a theatre actor in a predominantly white industry. Her breakthrough came with ‘Goodness Gracious Me,’ which gave the British Asian community a much-needed voice. “We had no representation as brown people in a white country. Finally, it felt like our community had a voice,” Wadia recalled.

Her role as Zainab Masood in ‘EastEnders’ further solidified her career. “I loved playing Zainab because she was a hugely dislikable character, but that’s always fun for actors. The gay community here really embraced the character because they understood her journey from being homophobic to accepting her son’s sexuality,” she explained. Nina Wadia also ventured into Bollywood, playing the wife of the late Rishi Kapoor in ‘Namastey London.’ “Bollywood works very differently from British television and film, but I loved the character and my scene with Rishiji,” she said.

Looking ahead, Wadia is excited about her role in an upcoming video game and her first musical tour across the UK. “I’m doing my first ever video game, and it’s going to be a lovely Indian avatar. I’m also starting my first musical called ‘Now That’s What I Call: A Musical,’ which features ’80s music and is set in an ’80s disco,” she revealed.

Nina Wadia’s journey from Mumbai to the UK and beyond is a testament to her talent, resilience, and passion for her craft. Her contributions to both British and Indian entertainment continue to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

Tags:

Nina WadiaTDGThe Daily GuardianThe Grand Indian HotelUK Actress