Topic: Nurse Jackie

Am I Right Ladies? The No-Nonsense Womyn of Cable

Am I Right Ladies? The No-Nonsense Womyn of Cable

Who says we don’t have good female role models on cable television? Sure, there’s plenty of ladies slumming it on trashy reality shows, but there are also plenty of sexy, type-A ladies who know their way around a fierce button-up blouse. These womyn can shoot guns, catch bad guys, win court cases and save lives as good as any man – and they do it in pumps! If that isn’t female empowerment, I don’t know what is. Seriously, I don’t know anymore. It may be a man’s world, but the boys be droolin’ while the girls be rulin,’ amirightladies? More »

Interview: ‘Nurse Jackie’s’ Arjun Gupta On The Life Of A Young, Minority Actor

Interview: 'Nurse Jackie's' Arjun Gupta On The Life Of A Young, Minority Actor

Take a look around network television today and you’ll see lots actors of Indian descent playing roles like sidekick or comic foil. Just look at Aziz Ansari on Parks and Recreation, Danny Pudi on Community or the whole cast of Outsourced (which also has roles for Indian actors such as straight man, love interest and villain). But there isn’t an Indian on TV playing a character like Arjun Gupta‘s Sam on Nurse Jackie, an alcoholic male nurse struggling with his addiction. As a foil for Jackie (Edie Falco) in earlier seasons, Sam is still learning the ropes at All Saints Hospital as the Showtime drama started its third season last month.

Tall and lanky, with shaggy hair and a disarming boyish grin, 24-year-old Arjun is not what casting directors are looking for when they create Indian characters, so he’s made his living by being cast in parts originally dreamed up as white or Latino. Like Sam. “I’m very Americanized,” Arjun told us about his look. “I don’t look that much like a nerd, and I think that’s a big problem for [casting directors]. I walk into a room and honestly sometimes they’re looking for the goofy-looking Big Bang Theory or Rules of Engagement Indian. But that’s changing slowly. As we counteract what it means to be an Indian, people will write new roles.”

Being a minority isn’t the only challenge Arjun’s faced. He’s also young and inexperienced, but learning the ropes one audition, one movie and one role at a time. He spoke to us about his experience working for three seasons on Nurse Jackie, his relationship with his castmates — including Edie — and the side projects that keep him motivated, like volunteering with children in Uganda. More »