Poorna Jagannathan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Poorna Jagannathan
Poorna Jagannathan By Amyn Hooda - in a Prabal Gurung Dress (1).jpg
Jagannathan in a Prabal Gurung Dress
Born Tunis, Tunisia
Alma mater University of Maryland
Occupation Actress
Years active 2001 - present
Spouse(s) Azad Oommen (m. 2003)

Poorna Jagannathan is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Safar Khan in HBO's The Night Of, as well as playing the unconventional lead in the Bollywood film Delhi Belly. She also initiated and produced the play Nirbhaya, written and directed by Yael Farber, which dealt with breaking the silence around sexual violence. Her play won the '2013 Amnesty International Award' and was called by The Telegraph as the "One of the most powerful pieces of theater you'll ever see".[1] Jagannathan 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. [2] She is currently a series regular on Gypsy, an upcoming show on Netflix and part of the ensemble cast for HBO's new show, Room 104 by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass.[3]

Early life[edit]

The daughter of a diplomat, Jagannathan was born in Tunis, Tunisia, and grew up in Pakistan, Ireland, India, Brazil and Argentina.[4] 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,[5] but left after the first year.


Jagannathan has appeared on several TV shows including House of Cards, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[6] Her film credits include Thanks For Sharing by Stuart Blumburg and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, which went on to become one of the highest grossing films in Bollywood history.

Jagannathan is an established theater actress and is part of The Barrow Group in New York City. In 2012, Deadline.com reported that Jagannathan had joined the cast of HBO's new show The Night Of as a series regular. The ensemble cast was led by James Gandolfini and was written and directed by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price.[7] The project was shot at the end of 2012 but was shelved by HBO. It got revived in May 2013 and was slated to start shooting again with Gandolfini in 2014.[8] After Gandolfini's death, Oscar winner Robert De Niro initially stepped in to take over the role originally played by the beloved Sopranos star in the pilot.[9] Due to schedule conflicts, John Turturro replaced De Niro. Filming resumed August 2014 and ended in March 2015 in New York City. The Night Of released on HBO on July 10th, 2016 to critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it currently has a score of 90%, indicating "universal acclaim" based on 40 reviews.[10] It currently has a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.5/10 based on 56 reviews; its consensus reads, "The Night Of is a richly crafted, exquisitely performed mystery that will keep viewers enthralled and leave them devastated."[11]

On September 2016, it was announced that Jagannathan was joining the cast of Gypsy as a series regular.[12] The Netflix produced series is led by Naomi Watts and releases on June 30th, 2017.

Moved by a sensational gang rape and murder in Delhi on December 16, 2012, Jagannathan initiated and produced a testimonial play called Nirbhaya ("Fearless", a pseudonym given to the victim).[13] The play uses the rape and death of Jyoti Singh Pandey as a catalyst to break the silence around sexual violence. She collaborated with internationally acclaimed playwright and director, Yael Farber.[14][15] Nirbhaya opened at the Assembly Hall in August 2013 during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.[16] It won the coveted 2013 Amnesty International Award as well as the Scotsman Fringe First and Herald Angel Awards. It got 5 star reviews from The Independent, The Telegraph and The Herald. It got 4 star reviews from The Times, The Scotsman, the London Evening Standard and Time Out. The Sunday Herald called Nirbhaya "One of the most powerful and urgent pieces of human rights theatre ever made".[17][18][19][20][21] In March 2014, Nirbhaya was the centerpiece performance for Southbank's "Women of the World" festival where it played to sold out houses in the UK. After a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund an India tour, Nirbhaya opened to critical acclaim in India on March 17, 2014, playing to sold out houses in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.[22][23] In August 2014, The Guardian audiences voted Nirbhaya among the top 10 "best fringe moments" in the Edinburgh Festival's history.[24] Nirbhaya opened to rave reviews at The Culture Project in New York City in May 2015, and rose to become the NYT Critics' Pick.[25] The play toured for three years in multiple cities in Ireland, Canada, the UK, India and the U.S. Many reviewers stated that it was one of the most political and deeply moving pieces of theater ever made.[26]

Jagannathan won critical acclaim for her role as a spunky, irreverent journalist in the film Delhi Belly. The Village Voice said "For all this censor-board razzing, the most enjoyably subversive element is Poorna Jagannathan as the self-sufficient bachelorette who waylays Tashi on his way to the altar. Rangy, corkscrew-haired, with a wary demeanor that can’t long be upset by anything, she’s a happy departure from the usual run of Xeroxed, pedestaled beauties."[27] Mumbai Mirror said, "Poorna Jagannathan, an offbeat choice, is remarkably subtle and does a brilliant job."[28] The Daily News and Analysis said that Jagannathan shines in the film, and that "her bohemian sex appeal" is "a refreshing change from the prim and proper 'heroine' we are used to watching."[29] The editor of Outlook Lounge said that Jagannathan's performance was a "masterclass in effortless acting".

For her performance in Delhi Belly, Jagannathan won the Stardust award for Best Supporting Actress [30] and the L'Oreal Femina Award for Breakthrough Performance in 2012.[31]

  • Jagannathan has been featured on the cover of Marie Claire, Femina, Jade and Exotica and covered in numerous publications like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Grazia.
  • In 2014, Verve Magazine named her among the top 50 most powerful women in India.[32]
  • She was featured in Vogue's October 2012 anniversary issue as one of 8 women who are changing the face of beauty in India.
  • Jagannathan was featured among the top 10 in Femina magazine's "India's 50 most beautiful women" in 2012.
  • Vogue included her in their list of most stylish women in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
  • Grazia awarded Jagannathan the "Best Dressed Award" for 2014.
  • She was ranked Most Fashionable Indian Woman by Cosmopolitan in their October 2013 and 2012 issues.
  • She was included in Verve's "2012's Best dressed Women" issue.
  • Italian Marie Claire named Jagannathan as one of the 12 women from the East impacting Western cinema in 2012[33]
  • She was included in Elle magazine's hot 100 list for 2011.
  • She was voted among the Top 50 Coolest Indians From Around The World for 2013 and 2011 by Desiclub.[34][35]

She is also a brand ambassador for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).


Year Film/TV series
2004 Law & Order
2004 She Hate Me
2005 Law & Order
2005 Johny Zero
2005 Dealbreaker
2005 The Weather Man
2005 Modern Day Arranged Marriage
2006 Love Monkey
2006 Rescue Me
2006 Law & Order
2007 Montclair
2007 Awake
2008 The Game
2009 Karma Calling
2009 Numb3rs
2010–2011 Royal Pains
2011 Peace, Love and Misunderstanding
2011 Delhi Belly
2013 Thanks for Sharing
2013 Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
2014 Good 'Ol Boy
2015 House Of Cards[36]
2016 The Night Of
2017 Gypsy
2017 The Circle
2017 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit


Award Category
Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2013 Winner
Scotsman Fringe First Award 2013 Winner
Herald Angel Award 2013 Winner
L'Oreal Femina Women Awards 2012 Winner of Breakthrough Performance
10th Annual Kamala Pasand Max Stardust Awards Winner of Breakthrough Supporting Performance (Female)
18th Annual Colors Screen Awards Nominated for Best Debut Actor (Female)
Zee Cine Awards 2012 Nominated for Best Debut Actor (Female)
18th Annual Colors Screen Awards Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Female)


  1. ^ Laura Barnett (5 August 2013). "Edinburgh Festival 2013: Nirbhaya, review". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Power Catalyst: Poorna Jagannathan". Verve Magazine. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  3. ^ http://deadline.com/2017/05/room-104-premiere-date-hbo-duplass-brothers-anthology-comedy-series-1202088847/
  4. ^ Banerjee, Debesh (9 July 2011). "The Belly Button". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  5. ^ Appelo, Tim (2012-05-04). "The Hollywood Reporter's List of the 25 Top Drama Schools". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  6. ^ "Poorna Jagannathan". IMDb. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "HBO Orders 'Criminal Justice' Drama Pilot Starring James Gandolfini, From Steven Zaillian & Richard Price". Deadline. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Rose, Lacey (2013-05-13). "James Gandolfini Starrer 'Criminal Justice' Revived at HBO as Limited Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Robert De Niro Succeeds James Gandolfini In HBO Miniseries ‘Criminal Justice’". Deadline. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/tv/the-night-of
  11. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the_night_of/s01/
  12. ^ http://deadline.com/2016/09/poorna-jagannathan-joins-gypsy-netflix-series-1201825426/
  13. ^ "Play on Nirbhaya in Edinburgh now". The Times Of India. 
  14. ^ Andrew Dickson. "Nirbhaya: the Edinburgh play telling the truth about abuse". the Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  15. ^ Trueman, Matt (2013-05-14). "Nirbhaya: play exploring Delhi gang rape heads to Edinburgh festival 2013". The Guardian. London. 
  16. ^ Nathan, John (2013-05-14). "Nirbhaya: Play about the Delhi rape that shocked the world set for Edinburgh". The Independent. London. 
  17. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130822141318/http://www.assemblyfestival.com/event.php?id=593. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Fringe reviews: Nirbhaya / Somnambules & The 7 Deadly Sins / The Events". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  19. ^ Barnett, Laura (2013-08-05). "Edinburgh Festival 2013: Nirbhaya, review". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  20. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130821014739/http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10535. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Yaël Farber’s Play "Nirbhaya" Wins Amnesty Award". Artinfo. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "Breaking the silence". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  23. ^ "Mumbai gives Nirbhaya play a standing ovation". The Times Of India. 
  24. ^ Marta Bausells. "Edinburgh festival: your favourite shows and memorable moments". the Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ https://www.show-score.com/off-broadway-shows/nirbhaya
  27. ^ Pinkerton, Nick (29 June 2011). "Bollywood Gets Raunchy in Delhi Belly". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  28. ^ Anshuman, Karan (2 July 2011). "Effing great". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  29. ^ Guha, Aniruddha (1 July 2011). "Review: Delhi Belly will have you laughing your a$$ off". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  30. ^ "Online Event promotion". meraevents.com. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ "Power Catalyst: Poorna Jagannathan". Verve Magazine. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  33. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130407152656/http://www.marieclaire.it/People/Da-Hyo-Jin-Kim-a-Poorna-Jagannathan-12-star-orientali-al-femminile. Archived from the original on April 7, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121003231623/http://www.desiclub.com/community/culture/culture_article.cfm?id=872. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20131225071143/http://www.desiclub.com/community/culture/culture_article.cfm?id=1210. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ Hitchcoc (27 February 2015). ""House of Cards" Chapter 27 (TV Episode 2015)". IMDb. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 

External links[edit]