Poorna Jagannathan is an Indian-American actress and producer. She is known for her roles, ‘Safar Khan’ in the HBO miniseries The Night Of (2016); ‘Menaka Vashist’ in the Bollywood film Delhi Belly (2011); ‘Katie Richmond’ in the TV series- Big Little Lies (2019); ‘Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar’ in Netflix’s series Never Have I Ever (2020).
Poorna Jagannathan was born on Friday, 22 December 1972 (age 47 years; as in 2019) in Tunis, Tunisia. Her zodiac sign is Capricorn. She grew up in Pakistan, Ireland, India, Brazil, and Argentina, and she did most of her schooling in these countries. She also studied at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, a school in New Delhi. She studied at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, and earned her BA with a major in journalism and minor in theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park. She pursued her Master’s in Fine Arts from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. However, she dropped out of her course a year later and continued to learn acting from her teacher, Elizabeth Kamp, who she had met while studying in the college.
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family & Ethnicity
She belongs to a Tamil family and is a South-Indian American. Times of India Her father, Krish Krishnan is an Indian diplomat. Her mother’s name is Vasantha Krishnan; both her parents are from Chennai.
She has an elder sister named Sharada.
She is married to Azad Oommen, and the couple has a son named Anav Oommen.
She made her acting debut with the role of ‘Song’s Girlfriend’ in the film, She Hate Me (2004).
She played minor roles in the American films, The Weather Man (2005), Awake (2007), and Peace, Love & Misnderstandings (2011). She made her Bollywood debut with the role of ‘Menaka Vashist’ in the Bollywood film, Delhi Belly (2011).
She then acted in supporting roles in hit Bollywood and American films such as Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), Growing Up Smith (2015), Carrie Pilby (2016), THe Circle (2017), Mile 22 (2018), Share (2019), and Alia’s Birth (2020).
She made her television debut with the megahit American television series Law & Order (2004) as ‘Rehana Khemlani.’
She later appeared in many hit television series like Rescue Me (2006), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2006), The Game (2008), Numbers (2009), Royal Pains (2010), House of Cards (2015), and NCIS: Los Angeles (2016); in minor roles. In 2016, she was seen in a major role of ‘Safar Khan’ in the serial, The Night Of.
She has acted in many popular TV series such as Gypsy (2017), The Blacklist (2017), The Act (2019), Big Little Lies (2019), Defending Jacob (2020), and Never Have I Ever (2020).
She is also an established theatre artist and is a company and board member of The Borrow Group, a non-profit Off-Broadway theatre company in New York City. She was deeply moved by the Delhi gang rape and murder on 16 December 2012 and produced and acted in the play, Nirbhaya, written and directed by the South African director and playwright Yaël Farber. Nirbhaya opened at the Assembly Hall in August 2013 during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The play focussed on breaking the silence on sexual violence against women. The play won Amnesty International Award, Scotsman Fringe First, and Herald Angel Award in 2013.
Awards & Achievements
- Annual Kamala Pasand Max Stardust Awards in 2014
- Verve magazine named her among the top 50 most powerful women in India in 2014
- Best Dressed Award by Grazia Magazine in 2014
- Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award in 2013
- Scotsman Fringe First Award in 2013
- Herald Angel Award in 2013
- Most Fashionable Indian Woman by Cosmopolitan in 2013 and 2012
- Winner L’Oreal Femina Women Awards in 2012
- Featured in Femina magazine’s “India’s 50 Most Beautiful Women” List in 2012
- Actor(s): James Gandolfini, Aamir Khan
- Writer: Dave Eggers
- Plays: Our Town by Thornton Wilder, Amajuba by Yaël Farber
- She likes watching movies, watching theatres, and reading.
- Before starting her career as an actress, Poorna was working in the field of advertising.
- From a very young age, she was known as ‘porn.’ Talking about her nickname, she says, Npr.org
I didn’t even know what a porn was at that point. But you know, that’s kind of been my nickname for years and years and years. And my Instagram handle is @poornography_. So I’ve just taken it on — there’s no two ways about it.”
- Poorna has been featured on the cover of Marie Claire, Femina, Jade, and Exotica and covered in numerous publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Grazia.
- She was featured in Vogue magazine as one of 8 women who were changing the face of beauty in India in 2012 and in their list of most stylish women in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
- She is a dog lover and owns a pet dog.