Parveen Kaur on Manifest and what sparked her decision to pursue acting. 

 By delightful surprise, Parveen Kaur, who plays a strong and resilient medical student and researcher named Saanvi in the NBC television hit series Manifest, owns her role as she gives a solid performance in playing a vital character. Kaur does not fail to surprise the audience as she takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions that has everyone rooting for Saanvi.  


Like her character, Kaur is genuinely admirable as she displays a determined and grounded personality while telling us more about past experiences and passions that led to her current role. For our 25th issue, we are thrilled to bring you this latest interview with Parveen Kaur.  


CM: At a very young age, you made the bold decision to quit school and leave home to pursue acting. What sparked the decision to become an actress? Were there any specific moments that inspired you to pursue the industry?  

I fell into acting. Growing up, all the things I wanted to be were the things I saw on TV. I wanted to be a spice girl, a WWE Diva, a stunt driver. I had an active imagination but didn’t realize until my 20s that acting was a natural fit for me and that I enjoyed doing it. I had someone tell me that because I had a fun energy, I should take an acting class, and that was the beginning.  


Playing a determined and resilient character in Manifest, did you learn anything new about yourself in the process of becoming Saanvi, or were you able to already relate deeply with the character? 

I think I related to her determination and also admired that about her as well. And in the process, I think I realized that she and I aren’t so different. She’s just a lot smarter.  


In another interview, you mentioned that Saanvi was initially written for a pilot, but Jeff Rake decided to add Saanvi to the ensemble. What did that change mean to you? 

Well, I guess at the moment, finding out (he told me after we wrapped season one) was just a surprise! But a pleasant one. Information like that definitely keeps you on your toes. Especially in this industry where things are so unpredictable, and no one really knows how things are going to pan out. You have to just go with the flow. 


On your Instagram, you have mentioned working at a vintage shop on Queen West. Tell us more about that chapter in your life and what were the best/worst moments you had. Did you develop your fashion sense during your experience there? 

Picture the film High Fidelity – it was that but set in a vintage store. I was in my early 20s working with friends, and the store really was a hub for the downtown, cool Toronto kids’ scene. I loved it there. My sense of fashion had been developing from much earlier but working in a vintage store opened me up to certain styles. I learned a lot about denim there actually, as well as ‘90s hip-hop streetwear.  


How do you describe your style preferences? Any favorite pieces in your closet? 

My favorite would be my mint green Saks Potts jacket. I have a Woodland camo extra-large tee that I wear pretty much every day, and also my Christian Dior pumps. Style preference, I’m kind of all over the place. The main thing for me is the fit and good tailoring.  


Throughout the years of your acting career, did you ever face moments of self-doubt? What did you do and how did you overcome this obstacle?  

Yeah, most days. It’s a strange business we work in, and if you don’t have a healthy mind and body, it’ll take advantage of that. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself and realized that the most important thing is the craft itself and to focus on just that. Things around you will fall into place how they’re supposed to.  


How do you spend your free time? Any hobbies?  

I live at the movies. I go when I’m happy or sad, by myself, with friends. I’ll see the same movies just so I can go to the theatre.  I love escaping through film. 


Not many people can say their face was on a billboard on Sunset. How did you feel when you first saw it, and what did you do? 

It’s funny, that first moment is so fleeting. It’s the reflection afterward that is the most meaningful. I just really took the time to understand what my journey has been and how I got here and how I’d like to keep going. I probably went to the movies to celebrate.  


Lastly, do you have any future or current projects you can tell us about? What is next for Parveen Kaur? 

Nothing I can share at the moment, but stay tuned to find out. 

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