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Panjabi: Kiss led to Good Wife exit

Published 20/01/2015

Archie Panjabi has revealed why she quit The Good Wife
Archie Panjabi has revealed why she quit The Good Wife

Actress Archie Panjabi has revealed she quit hit US series The Good Wife after her bisexual character took over when she had to kiss co-star Gillian Anderson in The Fall.

Archie, 42, plays investigator Kalinda in the CBS drama, which she will leave at the end of the sixth series.

She said the kissing scene in her role as pathologist Professor Reed Smith in BBC crime drama The Fall made her realise it was time to say goodbye to The Good Wife, after six years and an Emmy award for the role.

"When I was kissing her, Allan Cubitt, the show's creator and director, had to say, 'Archie, can you hold back?', because Gillian was supposed to take me by complete surprise," she told Radio Times magazine.

"I didn't think that I was very forward in (the scene), but obviously after a while a character starts to affect you.

"I thought, 'Okay, I think it's time to go now'."

After early roles in East Is East and Bend It Like Beckham, Archie's career took off after moving to the US.

The London-born actress praised the US TV and film industry for offering more opportunity to actors from diverse backgrounds.

"The great thing about America is they have to have a certain number of people from a diverse background," she said.

"For Kalinda (in The Good Wife) I was up against Korean, Chinese, Japanese, African-American (people) - they saw everybody.

"Over here, in the week I decided to leave, I was auditioning for a BBC show, while in LA I had three studios offering me a deal straight off."

She said she felt positive that the changes promised since comedian Lenny Henry campaigned over the lack of diversity on British TV screens would come to fruition, telling the magazine: "I think there have been a lot of promises made since Lenny Henry's comments and I'm optimistic. I've heard the right noises. It would be really good if we actually saw the right changes."

Archie, who has been offered a development deal by CBS to create any show she wants around her, added: "I would love to do a show where it's not driven by diversity, but it is something that we explore.

"When I first started out, I was always cast as the Indian girl. I want to go beyond that and say, 'Look at me for what I am and then I'll explain to you my culture'. I think TV audiences are totally ready for that sort of show."

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