Sunday 1 February 2015
Free Newspaper Asian News
The Asian Today Newspaper - Issue 194 Out Now View Issue 194 Online Now!
Register today for all the latest news from The Asian Today.
Where did you hear about us?
Get Your Free Copy of The Asian Today
YOUR FREE ASIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER!
Use our store finder to find out where you can pick up your local copy of The Asian Today!
WANT TO ADVERTISE? 
Advertising in The Asian Today  is a great way to promote your business. Contact our advertising team:    
sales@theasiantoday.com
Call:  0121 314 2892


Interviews - The Asian Today

Updated: 14:52, Wednesday September 23, 2009
        Interviews Feed
Hari Dhillon – Holby City and the National Television Awards
American born actor speaks to Zeenat Moosa
 
THE National Television Awards are back for another year and its good news for Holby City actor Hari Dhillon.
Since arriving on the show in November 2007 as dishy doc Michael Spence, the actor has become an integral part of the popular hospital drama, as well as acquiring an army of female fans in the process.
Next January the actor will compete with a host of popular names in the National Television Awards after being nominated in the Best Drama Performance. Hari took time out to speak to Zeenat Moosa…
 
Hari you’ve been nominated for a National Television Award in the Best Drama Performance category. How does that feel?
If feels great! As you know I am originally from America so it is really nice to know that the nominations have been opened out. It is always nice to know that you have had a pat on the back so to speak. It’s much better than people saying that I stink at what I do!
 
You’ve been in Holby City since 2007; you’re obviously enjoying your time on the show?
Oh yes. I came from Los Angeles for this role and didn’t know what to expect and I must say that I was more than surprised at the cast, crew, their way of work and the time taken to plan. It’s been wonderful.
 
You played a different character on the show as first, as Sunil Gupta didn’t you?
Yes that’s right. It was straight after I had finished drama school. I think I was only in it for like 6 episodes.
 
Your character Michael Spence wasn’t originally written as an Asian doctor was he?
Originally Michael was supposed to be an English public school boy. But then one of the writers thought to make him an Asian but changed the name, giving him an Indian / Christian background. There are almost 1 billion Indians in the world and some are Christians. This is what is great about Holby City – the writers and producers leave no corners untouched.   
 
Michael is an interesting character and colourful. What are the similarities and differences?
Well I’m much smarter and funnier than him! There are some similarities that can’t be helped like for example how Michael talks before he thinks. Sometimes I start talking and then my brain begins to engage later. But he is much more colourful and morally devious, which I don’t think I am – although I think it can be a blessing to be able to go through life like him.
 
How did you get into acting?
Very much by accident. I went to drama school in 1994. Before that I attended Berkley where I graduated early and was then willing to try my hands at anything. After graduation, I was an AIDS educator in California and Hawaii working in prisons. I then helped a friend set up a theatre company in San Francisco which I really enjoyed. And then I came to England, attended drama school and fell into it!
 
What’s the main highlight of your career so far?
Oh boy! This is one of them. To be able to work on a high calibre drama like Holby and this Nomination too. I feel that I have been welcomed here, by all communities. The Indian community, the acting community and the Holby community.
 
Being American, do you think it is easier to be a British Asian actor or an American Asian actor?
I feel that the States are well behind. There, it is impossible to be an Asian actor for any other reason that because you are Asian. It’s the idea that you’re only there because you are Asian. For example; I have an Asian friend who has a regular acting role playing a character called Jim Smith – the fact that he is Asian is irrelevant. I think both the UK and America has a long way to go – there are very few exceptions but on the whole it is the same old cliché. I always joke that if the character of Michael Spence was on Greys Anatomy, he would have a turban and jewel and arrive on a flying carpet. Americans would probably really play up the Asian character.
 
Any juicy story lines you can tell us?
Well in a few episodes, my character will, for the first time, speak to a patient in Punjabi. I think about 80% of his speech will be in Punjabi. Although it’s taken two years from when the character first arrived on screen I think it is a credit to Holby to be able to push these boundaries.
 
And are you fluent in Punjabi?
Not at all. Although I did live in India when I was about 6 years for 9 months, I grew up mainly in San Francisco where there was a very small Asian community. Actually I think the first Indian friend I made was in High School, other than cousins and siblings. I didn’t have any actual Punjabi schooling – all the Punjabi I do know is from my parents who were very nervous that we would lose our mother tongue living in America so took us to India regularly. I travel to India with my child now, at least once a year.
 
Would you ever want to move back to America?
I haven’t really thought about going back – I am enjoying it so much over here. I would like to do some television or film in America but at some point in my life I would like to move to India. My personal goal would be able to love and work in India for 2 to 3 years. 
 
You can catch Hari in Holby City on BBC One every Tuesday at 8pm
Voting for the National Television Awards is open until September 30
Log onto the National Television Awards to register your vote!
 

Comments

Latest Stories

Manisha Tailor
A Day In The Life Of The Football Coach
Akshay Kumar
Bollywood Star Talks to The Asian Today about 'Baby'
Zeeshaan Shah
Former Apprentice Turned CEO of One Investments Shares his Property Journey
SonAash
Multitalented Dancing Duo Talk to The Asian Today
Amit Kainth
Author and Businessman Talks About His Journey
Anand B
Emerging Artist Talks to The Asian Today
Ajay Devgan
Bollywood hunk Ajay Devgn is returning to UK cinemas with Action Jackson
Swami
Electronic Pop Band Talk About Their Latest Album 'Upgrade'
Jay Sean
World famous singer Jay Sean presents 'Tears in the Ocean'
Tommy Sandhu
A Day In The Life Of The Radio Personality

More Interviews From The Asian Today


Entertainment

Asian Entertainment - Production Running at the National Theatre
30/01/2015
Stars Come Out for Dara's Opening Night
Tuesday night saw a host of celebrity guests attend the opening night of DARA, the Natio...
Asian Entertainment - Jatti ft Punjabi singer Harjit Harman
30/01/2015
Dj Dal Releases First Track from Remix Album
Internationally acclaimed DJ Dal releases his debut mixtape ‘In The Mix’...
Asian Entertainment - DJ Dips & Roach Killa
27/01/2015
Kaun Nachdi
The music master Dj Dips returns with a banger of a track entitled 'Kaun Nachdi'. This t...
Asian Entertainment - Marks New Era for Punjabi Movies
23/01/2015
Eh Janam Tumhare Lekhe Music Launch
The humanitarian movie is all set to set the Punjabi box office register ringing on Janu...

Interviews

Asian Interviews - Star Talks to Sunny Malik About Finding Fanny
11/09/2014
Arjun Kapoor
Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor is excited about his forthcoming release Finding Fanny oppos...
Asian Interviews - The Asian Today's Anita speaks to the 'Khoobsurat' actress
08/09/2014
Sonam Kapoor: On Being A Crazy, Hopeless Romantic
Sonam Kapoor is an Indian actress who has starred in a number of Bollywood movies includ...
Asian Interviews - The Asian Today's Anita speaks to Happy Birthday Sunita's Shabana Azmi
08/09/2014
Shabana Azmi on Breaking Out of Her Comfort Zone
Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress who has worked in film, television and theatre. Her pe...
Asian Interviews - The Asian Today's Anita speaks to Happy Birthday Sunita's Ameet Chana
03/09/2014
Ameet Chana On His Love For Eating, Banter and Well-Written Plays
  Ameet Chana is a British actor with a number of TV, film and stage credits to hi...

News

Asian News - British Muslim Centres of Worship Open Doors to Public
30/01/2015
Visit My Mosque
On Sunday 1st February 2015, the Muslim Council of Britain will be organising a national...
Asian News - Who Was Deported from UK Three Years Earlier
29/01/2015
Lying Cabbie Passed Speeding Points to Pal
A cabbie has narrowly escaped prison for trying to palm off speeding points onto another d...
Asian News - Celebrate at Mid-Year Event
29/01/2015
Mosaic’s West Midlands Network
Mosaic’s committed mentors, teachers and supporters gathered last night in Birmingha...
Asian News - Anti-Muslim Vandalism Found On Campus
28/01/2015
Racism On Birmingham University Grounds
A number of racist graffiti attacks have taken place recently on the University of Bir...

Sport

Asian Sport - Will Now Face Australia
30/01/2015
England Beat India To Reach Tr-Series Final
India's three-wicket loss to England cost them the spot in the final of the ODI Tri-seri...
Asian Sport - Pakistani Bowler Cleared to Play Domestic Cricket
29/01/2015
Amir’s Ban Cut By ICC
Pakistani bowler, Mohammad Amir has been cleared to play domestic cricket by the Internati...
Asian Sport - Birmingham City Council Offers Funding to Grassroots Project
27/01/2015
This Girl Can
Birmingham community organisations are being offered funding to help stage a city-wide c...
Asian Sport - Indian Captain Wants More Partnerships
22/01/2015
"Have Faith In Our Batsman"
India have had a rather inauspicious start to their tri-series, losing their first two g...