Anjli Mohindra

BODYGUARD actress Anjli Mohindra has admitted that her role in the BBC drama perpetuated a negative image of the South Asian community.

Mohindra played suicide bomber Nadia, and many criticised her for adding to stereotypes about Muslim people.

“I feel in some ways, even though that job holds a very special place in my heart, I kind of scored an own goal for the South Asian community in playing a character that perpetuates a stereotype,” she said in an interview with Digital Spy.

Mohindra did not initially want to play Nadia in Jed Mercurio’s smash-hit series as she felt it promoted Islamophobic ideas. But she decided to take it up as she felt the role showed the complexity of what leads people to terrorism.

“It’s incredibly difficult because when making it, when reading it, you bring so much as an actor that you hope that’s what comes across to the audience,” she said.

“That it’s something complex and a different portrayal than you’ve seen before. But as time has gone on, I’ve recognised that we need to start pushing against those boundaries a bit to help further the narrative along.”

Mohindra stressed the need for more positive stories to change stereotypes about Muslims and the South Asian community.

“That community especially right now could really do with a leg up when it comes to positive, happy-go-lucky, maybe not even happy-go-lucky, but stories of strife and overcoming hurdles that just sort of reinvigorate your hope for humanity,” she added.

Mohindra currently stars in Michael Frayn’s 1982 play Noises Off at the Garrick Theatre.