SPOILERS BELOW FOR BOTH SHOWS:
“I kicked around so many people as Kalinda Sharma [on ‘The Good Wife’] for six years, maybe this is payback time,” jokes Emmy winner Archie Panjabi. Her character on “I Know This Much Is True” is angrily berated by Mark Ruffalo, while on the very same night Domnhall Gleeson pushes her character on “Run” out of a window to her grizzly death. Asked in jest what she ever did to deserve that treatment, the actress smiles and says “I guess I just have that look, I have that face!” Watch our exclusive video interview with Panjabi above.
In HBO’s “I Know This Much Is True,” Panjabi co-stars as therapist Dr Patel, who spends most of her time on the series cooped up in intimate therapy sessions with the troubled Dominick (Mark Ruffalo), acting as a calm and grounded sounding board as Dominick voices how he has been wrestling with his hardships, identity and past. The actress also features in HBO’s dark comedy “Run,” in which she plays Fiona, the deliciously manipulative personal assistant to Billy (Gleeson), who has run off on a whim to reunite with his ex-lover Ruby (Merritt Wever). The characters could not be more diametrically different.
“Playing a counselor who is as guarded and controlled as Patel, it was quite hard to not let that guard down a few times and she does get occasionally emotionally affected by what is said,” Panjabi explains. “My ultimate goal was to try to create a very calm energy.” Panjabi however loved how different the Fiona character was to Patel, which freed her up to try new things. “I thought it would be really fun to play her,” she says. “She’s a bit of a psycho as well and I’ve never played somebody like that.”
The Emmy-winning actress had a lot of fun playing an overtly manipulative woman scorned, driven by her need for payback. Panjabi admits that when looking back at her time on “I Know This Much Is True,” she was a little apprehensive about joining the star-studded cast.
“I remember being incredibly nervous,” Panjabi reveals. “But when you do a few takes and start getting into the rhythm of it you’re completely in this different zone. It’s very hard to explain. You become that character for those few minutes,” she explains. “It’s intoxicating.”
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