ENTERTAINMENT
09/10/2019 10:11 AM AEDT

Bodyguard's Anjli Mohindra Admits Her Character 'Perpetuated A Negative Stereotype'

Her character Nadia proved to be one of the BBC drama's most controversial aspects when it debuted last year.

Anjli Mohindra has conceded that her role in drama Bodyguardperpetuated a negative stereotype” regarding South Asian people.

Last year, Anjli was watched by millions of viewers playing Nadia, a Muslim terrorist whose attempts at a suicide bombing are thwarted.

While Bodyguard was generally well-received, Anjli’s character was criticised by some who felt that she contributed to negative stereotypes held by some towards Muslim people.

BBC
Anjli Mohindra as Nadia in Bodyguard

Having initially defended the role, Anjli has now admitted she thinks she “kind of scored an own goal for the South Asian community” by accepting the part.

Anjli told Digital Spy: “Bodyguard will always be an incredible experience. Working with one of the best writers in this country, and playing the character was such a great and unexpected twist.

“I do think I’ve learnt a lot about how to... I’m trying to think about the best way to put this... 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.”

Looking to the future, Anjli added: “Positive stories are absolutely the focus, that’s where we need the focus going forwards. Because there are so many stories we can tell that ill-serve those communities and many other communities.

“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.”

David M. Benett via Getty Images
Anjli at an event earlier this month

Shortly after the Bodyguard finale aired, Anjli penned a personal essay in Stylist magazine in which she discussed her feelings about her character in the hit series.

“This character felt real – she wasn’t a plot device. I was able to give her a personal backstory which I then felt compelled to bring to life.

“The role wasn’t black or white (or even brown) - it was multi-layered and complex. Just like life,” she said.