CHICAGO (CBS) Archie Panjabi is one of the most intriguing characters on primetime television. She stars as a take-no-prisoners investigator in “The Good Wife.” She has been critically acclaimed for the role. CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan had the pleasure of meeting her and finding out if she is as intriguing off-screen as she is on-screen.
“She had guts. She was strong and intelligent. I felt like she would be such a great character to play,” said Archie Panjabi, about her role on “The Good Wife.”
Good decision — for her and for us. Archie Panjabi has been a working actress for years, gaining attention for her breakout role in the film, “Bend It Like Beckham”; as well as the Angelina Jolie film, “A Mighty Heart.”
But no character has been met with as much attention as Kalinda Sharma, a razor sharp investigator in “The Good Wife”; a role that just won her an Emmy.
“That was probably the best experience of my life, and such a surprise,” said Panjabi.
With an Emmy in her bag and a hit TV show, Panjabi made her first trip to Chicago and was eager to talk about the role that has her star on the rise.
It is rare to find a good, strong role for a female in Hollywood, never mind for a person of color. Yet, color is not an issue and it’s never brought up that she is Indian.
“I think it’s great that you have a character where people are so interested in her, about who she is, what her sexuality is, the mystery behind her,” said Panjabi. “People have not asked questions about her ethnicity.”
Panjabi seems very shy and modest, compared to Kalinda.
“I’m probably being on my best behavior because you’re interviewing me and it’s my first impression I’m going to make to Chicago,” said Panjabi. “I guess in every character that you play, you bring a little bit of yourself.”
Panjabi brings her reserved British-Indian background and her own sense of sarcastic wit to a character that very much pushes the envelope, with her contained personality, ambiguous sexuality and skin-tight clothing.
“I’ve never had to wear such tight clothes, but she’s also respected for her intelligence,” she said. “Complexity is definitely one thing that’s challenging about Kalinda. So much is not known about her. There’s so much I’m learning about her and coming to terms with.”
As the second season gets underway, Kalinda’s personal life takes center stage; specifically, her relationship status. It’s never addressed that she is a lesbian, but it’s hinted at.
“People are suspecting that she could be bisexual,” said Panjabi. “I can reveal that it will be either confirmed or refuted in a few episodes.”
So, a lot more intrigue to come. “The Good Wife” airs every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on CBS. The show is loosely based on the political sex scandal of Gov. Eliot Spitzer.