Saturday 1 August 2015
Free Newspaper Asian News
The Asian Today Newspaper - Issue 200 Out Now View Issue 200 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


Asda

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

Parv Kaur and the Eternal Taal Gang
Banging the Drum for Females
Nargis Fakhri
On Her First Foray into Hollywood's Action-Comedy Scene
Zaid Ali
Speaks to The Asian Today about his videos, the tour and the British accent
Superintendent Basit Javid
In The Spotlight
Zack’s Nakhre
British-Asian Singing Sensation Talks to DesiXpress
Serena Kern
Sitting down with DesiXpress, she talks music, her journey and the future
Karan Tacker
On The Voice, What Viewers Should Expect And Finding Inspiration With Pitbull
Kavita Parmar
On The Textbook of Translating
Akshay Kumar
On Being a Vigilante in 'Gabbar Is Back'!
Beyond the Bathroom Corridor
Interview with Zain of QSSupplies.co.uk
Auction

More Interviews From The Asian Today


Entertainment

Asian Entertainment - Noreen Khan and the BBC Asian Network
20/07/2015
Bollywood Throughout The Ages
BBC DJ, Noreen Khan, and the team behind the popular Asian Network show have been workin...
Asian Entertainment - Birmingham Rep to Premiere Stage Adaption
13/07/2015
Cast Announced for Anita & Me
Mandeep Dhillon and Jalleh Alizadeh will take leading roles in the stage premiere of Mee...
Asian Entertainment - Bollywood Movie of The Month - In Conjunction With VUE
09/07/2015
Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Director: Kabir Khan Cast: Salman Khan ,Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui This mov...
Asian Entertainment - Mahira Khan pitted against Salman Khan this Eid 2015
08/07/2015
Bin Roye
The talented Pakistani Actress, Mahira Khan who has been recently signed by Shah R...

Interviews

Asian Interviews - The Husband and Wife Team Taking the Radio World by Storm!
12/02/2015
Sunny and Shay, A Day in the Life
Sunny and Shay Grewal have come a long way since their television debut on the Channel 4...
Asian Interviews - The Star of Hit Stage Show 'East is East' Shares His Experience
09/02/2015
Ashley Kumar goes East!
East is East has become a classic in British Asian cinema. The story of Pakistani chip s...
Asian Interviews - A Day In The Life Of The Football Coach
14/01/2015
Manisha Tailor
Meet Manisha Tailor: Teacher, Sports Personality, Football Coach From pimary school ...
Asian Interviews - Bollywood Star Talks to The Asian Today about 'Baby'
09/01/2015
Akshay Kumar
Baby’, a highly anticipated action thriller, sees Akshay reunited with director ...

News

Asian News - Thousands Expected to Attend Three Day Event
29/07/2015
Sufi Abdullah Death Anniversary
Thousands of Muslim worshippers are set to descend to Birmingham as the first of an annu...
Asian News - Student Was Hit Outside University
29/07/2015
‘Aiysha Has Left A Void’
The parents of a student who died after a hit and run outside her university have said s...
Asian News - Local Policing Takes a Hit with Lower Budget
28/07/2015
Neighbourhood Officers to be Axed
A review of neighbourhood policing is underway as part of the West Midlands Police WMP20...
Asian News - Will Be Given Official Status
27/07/2015
Birmingham Balti Recognised
Birmingham will be officially recognised as the home of the world-famous dish – th...

Sport

Asian Sport - Third Ashes Test is Sold Out
29/07/2015
Record Numbers
Warwickshire County Cricket Club has secured record aggregate ticket sales for a Test Ma...
Asian Sport - Pakistan's Women Footballer Heads to Premier League
14/07/2015
For the Love of the Game
Well if you did not follow Pakistani women football national team, you may reconsider ...
Asian Sport - Duo Win Ladies Doubles Crown
13/07/2015
Mirza and Hingis Claim Wimbledon
Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza recovered from 5-2 down in the final set...
Asian Sport - A Cast Iron Promise From Qasim Niaz
10/07/2015
I Will Never Fall Back into a Life of Crime
Blackburn boxer, Qasim Niaz has vowed never to fall back into a life of crime. After fin...