“If I knew what that was, I would box it up and sell it!” she laughingly admits. “She’s always very grounded and very calm and very strong, and I find myself in situations where I am like ‘I don’t know what to do’, and then I think ‘what would Kalinda do?’,” Panjabi reveals in a video chat with Gold Derby.
“You’d always want her as a friend. There is an honesty about her; she always speaks her mind, she’s unafraid to tell her bosses how she feels and yet everybody at work has a lot of respect for her. Maybe there’s just something about her, a quality that she possesses that we all, including myself, really wish we had.”
Panjabi recently reaped her third consecutive Emmy nomination for Drama Supporting Actress. This came as a genuine surprise to the Brit expatriate, who admits the last three years have been “a bit of a blur.”
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“I never worked in American TV, so to come here and be part of a job that’s been so successful, and a character that’s been so well loved, to get the Emmy, to get the nomination; every time something happened, I was like ‘wow, is this for real?’” says Panjabi. Recalling her surprising win two years ago, she says: “Of course, that particular night was extremely magical and I do think about it a lot, particularly when I’m tired, or I’ve had a bad day at work. That moment, which was so magical, really makes up for it.”
Panjabi had to choose an episode to submit to Emmy judges as the best example of her work last season, and she says this was not an easy decision. “It’s really a challenge to actually find an episode that really does display your full potential as that character. And I’m sure every actor feels that, because you want to take bits from each episode and throw it [together].”
Ultimately, Panjabi decided on the third season finale (“The Dream Team”). She thinks it was her best showcase because it shows a different, more vulnerable side to Kalinda. “To see this woman, who normally has a trick up her sleeve, to suddenly see her so vulnerable, and so fearful and so terrified for her life; to go through that entire journey for me, was taking me as an actress out of my comfort zone.”
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