Why Anjana Vasan is done people pleasing

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Why Anjana Vasan is done people pleasing

Vasan has taken on a wide range of roles, from playing an assassin in Killing Eve, to a meek sales assistant in the Black Mirror episode, Demon 79.

The latter role secured her a Best Actress nomination at the Bafta TV awards earlier this month, although she lost out to Sarah Lancashire from Happy Valley.

But Demon 79 did pick up two awards earlier, at the Bafta Craft Awards, in the writer drama category and for photography and lighting fiction.

Speaking to BBC News before the TV awards, Vasan said she “already felt like we’d won” and praised her team, including Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, for what they had achieved.

Vasan, who grew up in Singapore, says her cultural influences came from a whole range of different places, from Monty Python to When Harry Met Sally.

“But definitely I think my first influences were always comedy, that’s what I was drawn to mostly.”

She also always loved theatre and film, although she admitted that growing up, she didn’t really see herself on the big screen. “I always saw it as something as quite far away and reserved for people with blue eyes and cheekbones, maybe subconsciously.”

Vasan has spoken in the past about representation in TV and film, and she said “there’s still so much more to do”.

“Every time we have this conversation, it feels like things are getting better, but that’s not to say the work has stopped. There’s more that always needs to be done.”

“We always when it comes round to awards seasons, people start asking these questions. And I think these questions need to be asked way before things like nominations happen. I think it’s actually about the work. If the work is there, if the opportunities are there, then everything else comes.”

Vasan moved to the UK in her early 20s, where she has forged a successful career.

In theatre, she won an Olivier award for her role as Stella Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire in 2023.

Earlier this year, she had a role on the big screen in the comedy film Wicked Little Letters.

It’s clear that she enjoys the range of roles.

“I think that’s probably intentional, to always try different things,” she said.

“There’s nothing wrong with playing feminine and dainty roles if they’re written very well. I think the first question is always if the writing is good, and if there’s more than one dimension to them.”

She added: “I’m probably not attracted to very obvious things, I like when characters have surprises within themselves.”

Season 2 of We Are Lady Parts is out on Channel 4 on May 30.

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