ISSUE Spring 2013
story Hilal Nakiboglu
photo Russ Elloway
After a small role in the award-winning film ARGO, the London-born Indian actress appears next in a film with Josh hartnett and in NBC’s highly anticipated series MISTRESSES.
Audrey Magazine: First of all, congratulations on your involvement with Argo [Sunny played the Swissair ticketing agent].
Tehmina Sunny: Thank you! It was such a wonderful experience. I’ve always admired Ben Affleck as an actor, so to be actually working with him was incredible. He’s an amazing director, very respectful and down-to- earth. He had a great team around him, too.
AM: You have a film coming out later this year, with Josh Hartnett, called Singularity. Tell us about your character.
TS: I play the antagonist, Sonubai. She’s quite ruthless and not shy about ￼￼getting what she wants, even if she hurts people in the process.
AM: Was she fun to play?
TS: Very. It’s only now that I’m playing the more ruthless characters. It’s fun. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting tougher, but I’m being seen more for these roles, and I love it.
AM: And Josh Harnett?
TS: His process was fascinating for me to watch. He’s opened me up to new ways of thinking about how to play a character and work with material. I’m so excited about that project. It just looks so stunning: the cinematography, the costumes, and the storyline. I believe it’ll be premiering at Cannes this year.
AM: How do you get ready for an event like Cannes?
TS: I stick to what works for me. I try to do yoga three or four times a week. Sometimes Pilates. A little bit of weights, but not too much. I love my cardio. I love spinning. I like running, because it puts me back in my own world, which I need sometimes.
AM: In her book, Mindy Kaling says that as she runs, her mind generates these detailed revenge fantasies. Does yours do that, too?
TS: [Laughs] Not quite. Running clears my mind. If I’m feeling anxious or even afraid of something, I’ll run, and it makes me better.
AM: What are you watching on TV right now?
TS: Everything. Homeland. I’m an avid Good Wife fan. I enjoy How I Met your Mother and Modern Family. I have eclectic taste.
AM: The Good Wife stars fellow British Asian actress, Archie Panjabi. Do you two hang out?
TS: She’s based in New York, so not really. But I did meet her at an Emmy party. When I was younger, I saw her in a film called East is East, and since then, I’ve followed her career. It was really nice touching base with her. She was very friendly and asked me, “How are you finding it here? How do you find the process?” And I was saying that four years ago, when I started, there was nothing. The calls that went out were very, very specific. Now, there seems to be more diversity and different roles within projects that I can be seen for. It’s great that the doors are opening.
AM: And what role would you like to see open up for you next?
TS: I’m not going to lie: I’d love to be the next Bond girl.
We attended Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal‘s free screening of Sex and the City 2 at the Americana in Glendale, Calif., last night. With a theater full of enthusiastic SATC fans — many of whom were dressed very Carrie-appropriate — needless to say, it was a fabulous time.
And the long-awaited sequel didn’t disappoint. Sure, plot points weren’t exactly razor sharp, but with that much eye candy (the eye-popping clothes, the stunning locales, Carrie’s mesmerizingly smoky eye, and all the wealth and excess one can conjure up in the Middle East), frankly you don’t have much time to ponder over it.
Adding to the glut of eye candy is Raza Jaffrey, who plays Carrie’s personal hotel butler Guarau. Critics who were otherwise lukewarm about the movie are hailing him and his storyline (Guarau works in Abu Dhabi to make enough money to visit his wife back in India every three months) as the one bright spot in the film.
Of Indian-British descent, Jaffrey is an English actor best known for his roles in the BBC series Spooks and Mistresses. He’s also starred in the BBC mini-series Sharpe’s Peril with Sean Bean, and was in the film Eastern Promises (Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts).
The 35-year-old, who once aspired to be a pilot, started his acting career in theater, most notably as the original star of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of A.R. Rahman’s (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) musical Bombay Dreams. Jaffrey is also the creator of the dance-musical spectacular, Red, which performs around the world. The show incorporates dozens of styles of dance from flamenco to hip-hop, from Indian kathakali to ballet, all backed by the music and spectacle of Bollywood.
Other Asian faces you’ll see in SATC2 include Charlotte’s adorable daughter Lily (played by twins Alexandra and Parker Fong), and Minglie Chen, who plays the Bergdorf’s saleswoman. For tickets and showtimes, check out the official website.