Actress who plays Bodyguard jihadi says role was ‘empowering from a feminist perspective’ 

One of the stars of the biggest drama of 2018 has revealed playing a ruthless female jihadi was ’empowering’. 

More than ten million viewers were captivated by Anjli Mohindra’s portrayal of the merciless bomb maker Nadia in BBC One’s Bodyguard.

The 28-year-old British actress said while stepping into the character was empowering, she did not want to be part of the ‘Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative’ and admitted she felt ‘uncomfortable’ wearing the hijab.

She has also spoken out about how she was encouraged to mark her skin colour as ‘white’ early in her career in a bid to secure acting roles.

Anjli Mohindra had audiences gripped from the off as she stepped into the role of the merciless bomb maker Nadia in BBC One's Bodyguard

Anjli Mohindra had audiences gripped from the off as she stepped into the role of the merciless bomb maker Nadia in BBC One's Bodyguard

Anjli Mohindra had audiences gripped from the off as she stepped into the role of the merciless bomb maker Nadia in BBC One’s Bodyguard

The 28-year-old British actress said while the role was empowering, she did not want to be part of the 'Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative'

The 28-year-old British actress said while the role was empowering, she did not want to be part of the 'Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative'

The 28-year-old British actress said while the role was empowering, she did not want to be part of the ‘Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative’

Nadia Ali was first introduced to Bodyguard viewers as a terrified would-be suicide bomber, something of a bullied and submissive wife, controlled by her spouse.

Fans were gripped from the opening scene, when she appeared to have been coerced into a suicide bomb plot by her husband.

But by the denouement of the series, Nadia finally revealed herself to be the chief bomb maker, a chilling vortex of cold-blooded evil fed up of being dismissed as a passive wife. 

‘I built all the bombs. You all saw me as a poor oppressed Muslim woman. I am an engineer. I am a jihadi,’ she sneered in police custody.

Mohindra has revealed that despite initial doubts playing the role, she eventually found it ’empowering from a feminine perspective’.

She told The Telegraph: ‘Women are constantly undermined. We have this idea that women who wear hijabs are oppressed and do so not of their own will, and that is something we need to think about and take stock of because that is absolutely not the case.’ 

Mohindra has revealed that despite initial doubts playing the role, she eventually found it 'empowering from a feminine perspective'.

Mohindra has revealed that despite initial doubts playing the role, she eventually found it 'empowering from a feminine perspective'.

Mohindra has revealed that despite initial doubts playing the role, she eventually found it ’empowering from a feminine perspective’

In the role of Nadia, Anjli Mohindra was portrayed as a bullied wife coerced into a suicide bomb plot by her husband

In the role of Nadia, Anjli Mohindra was portrayed as a bullied wife coerced into a suicide bomb plot by her husband

In the role of Nadia, Anjli Mohindra was portrayed as a bullied wife coerced into a suicide bomb plot by her husband

By the denouement of the series, Nadia finally revealed herself to be the chief bomb maker, a chilling vortex of cold-blooded evil fed up of being dismissed as a passive wife

By the denouement of the series, Nadia finally revealed herself to be the chief bomb maker, a chilling vortex of cold-blooded evil fed up of being dismissed as a passive wife

By the denouement of the series, Nadia finally revealed herself to be the chief bomb maker, a chilling vortex of cold-blooded evil fed up of being dismissed as a passive wife

‘I built all the bombs. You all saw me as a poor oppressed Muslim woman. I am an engineer. I am a jihadi,’ she sneered in police custody

‘I built all the bombs. You all saw me as a poor oppressed Muslim woman. I am an engineer. I am a jihadi,’ she sneered in police custody

‘I built all the bombs. You all saw me as a poor oppressed Muslim woman. I am an engineer. I am a jihadi,’ she sneered in police custody

The six-part Jed Mercurio political thriller concluded with a revelation about the fatal explosion which killed Keeley Hawes’s character.

It was finally revealed that Nadia was working with criminal Luke Aitkens, who was aided by police insider CSI Lorraine Craddock.

The revelation came at the end of a tense episode which saw Army veteran and close protection officer Sergeant David Budd, played by Richard Madden, himself strapped into a suicide vest.

Mohindra told The Telegraph that she had initial doubts about Nadia wearing a hijab, which she ‘did not feel was completely necessary’.

Mohindra told The Telegraph that she had initial doubts about Nadia wearing a hijab, which she 'did not feel was completely necessary'

Mohindra told The Telegraph that she had initial doubts about Nadia wearing a hijab, which she 'did not feel was completely necessary'

Mohindra told The Telegraph that she had initial doubts about Nadia wearing a hijab, which she ‘did not feel was completely necessary’

In an interview with Stylist , she revealed how her skin colour had since become 'a national talking point' - a departure from her school days when she would attempt to conceal her ethnicity

In an interview with Stylist , she revealed how her skin colour had since become 'a national talking point' - a departure from her school days when she would attempt to conceal her ethnicity

In an interview with Stylist , she revealed how her skin colour had since become ‘a national talking point’ – a departure from her school days when she would attempt to conceal her ethnicity

Mohindra's first major TV role was as Rani Chandra in CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures between 2008-2011

Mohindra's first major TV role was as Rani Chandra in CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures between 2008-2011

Mohindra’s first major TV role was as Rani Chandra in CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures between 2008-2011

The actress added she was wary about dangerous fictional cliché and stereotypes surrounding ethnic minority characters and did not simply want to be part of the ‘Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative’.

Writing for Stylist, she revealed how her skin colour had since become ‘a national talking point’ – a departure from her school days when she would attempt to conceal her ethnicity.

She wrote: ‘I was encouraged to put ‘White’ as my ethnicity on Spotlight, the acting database, because it was the only way to get in the casting room for parts to which I felt closest; your average British Adolescent.’

The actress has had supporting roles in several television dramas including Channel 4's Cucumber, Paranoid (Netflix) and BBC Two's The Boy with The Topknot

The actress has had supporting roles in several television dramas including Channel 4's Cucumber, Paranoid (Netflix) and BBC Two's The Boy with The Topknot

The actress has had supporting roles in several television dramas including Channel 4’s Cucumber, Paranoid (Netflix) and BBC Two’s The Boy with The Topknot

Having been one of the stand-out stars of Bodyguard Mohindra will next play a detective in ITV’s Dark Heart

Having been one of the stand-out stars of Bodyguard Mohindra will next play a detective in ITV’s Dark Heart

Having been one of the stand-out stars of Bodyguard Mohindra will next play a detective in ITV’s Dark Heart

Mohindra with her friend, 34-year-old actor Sacha Dhawan. She captioned the Instagram picture, 'When one of your BESTIES wins an award!'

Mohindra with her friend, 34-year-old actor Sacha Dhawan. She captioned the Instagram picture, 'When one of your BESTIES wins an award!'

Mohindra with her friend, 34-year-old actor Sacha Dhawan. She captioned the Instagram picture, ‘When one of your BESTIES wins an award!’

The 28-year-old, pictured here on holiday in Italy, said she 'didn’t want to perpetuate the seemingly Islamophobic narrative' - which viewers initially accused the show of doing

The 28-year-old, pictured here on holiday in Italy, said she 'didn’t want to perpetuate the seemingly Islamophobic narrative' - which viewers initially accused the show of doing

The 28-year-old, pictured here on holiday in Italy, said she ‘didn’t want to perpetuate the seemingly Islamophobic narrative’ – which viewers initially accused the show of doing

Originally from Nottingham, the actress now lives in Clapham, London

Originally from Nottingham, the actress now lives in Clapham, London

Originally from Nottingham, the actress now lives in Clapham, London

Anjli wrote in Stylist: 'My skin colour has become a national talking point because I played an Islamic suicide bomber in the most-watched TV drama in over a decade'

Anjli wrote in Stylist: 'My skin colour has become a national talking point because I played an Islamic suicide bomber in the most-watched TV drama in over a decade'

Anjli wrote in Stylist: ‘My skin colour has become a national talking point because I played an Islamic suicide bomber in the most-watched TV drama in over a decade’

Mohindra’s first major TV role was as Rani Chandra in CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures between 2008-2011.

The 28-year-old from Nottingham trained at The Television Workshop, a training centre for young actors.

She has since had supporting roles in several television dramas including Channel 4’s Cucumber, Paranoid (Netflix) and BBC Two’s The Boy with The Topknot.

Having been one of the stand-out stars of Bodyguard – which enjoyed the highest launch figure for any new drama across all UK channels since 2006 – Mohindra will next play a detective in ITV’s Dark Heart.

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