Indira Varma

Indira Varma
Born Indira Anne Varma
(1973-05-14) 14 May 1973
Bath, Somerset, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Colin Tierney
Children 1

Indira Anne Varma (born 14 May 1973) is an English actress. Her first major role was in Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. She has gone on to appear in the television series The Canterbury Tales, Rome, Luther, Human Target,[1][2] and as Ellaria Sand in Game of Thrones. In September 2016, she began starring as DS Nina Suresh in the ITV/Netflix series Paranoid.

Early life

Varma was born in Bath, Somerset, UK, the only child of an Indian father and a Swiss mother who was of part Genoese Italian descent.[3] She was a member of Musical Youth Theatre Company and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, in 1995.


Varma has had a number of television and film roles, including Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love in 1997 and Bride and Prejudice in 2004, and the young Roman wife Niobe during the first season of BBC/HBO's historical drama series Rome. Her character appeared briefly in the second season of the award-winning series when it aired on Sunday, 14 January 2007.[4]

In 2006, she played Suzie Costello in the first and eighth episodes, "Everything Changes" and "They Keep Killing Suzie", of BBC Three's science-fiction drama series Torchwood.[5] She appeared as Dr. Adrienne Holland in the CBS medical drama 3 lbs[6] which premiered on 14 November 2006[7] and was cancelled on 30 November 2006 due to poor ratings.[8] Varma guest starred in the fourth season premiere of hit U.S. detective drama Bones as Scotland Yard Inspector Cate Pritchard. She also played the role of Zoe Luther in the first series of the BBC drama Luther.

Varma played the role of Ilsa Pucci in the second season of the Fox television series Human Target until the show was cancelled on 10 May 2011.[9]

Varma played the role of Ellaria Sand, the paramour of Oberyn Martell in season 4 of the HBO show Game of Thrones,[10] and reprised the role in season 5 and season 6.[11][12]

She lent her voice to the Circle mage Vivienne, in the 2014 role-playing video game Dragon Age: Inquisition.


In 1997, Varma played Bianca in Shakespeare's Othello at the National Theatre (NT), London. In 2000 to 2001, she appeared in Harold Pinter and Di Trevis's NT stage adaptation of Pinter's The Proust Screenplay, Remembrance of Things Past, based on À la recherche du temps perdu, by Marcel Proust. In the summer of 2001, she played Gila in One for the Road, by Harold Pinter, at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

In 2002, she played Sasha Lebedieff in Ivanov by Anton Chekhov at the National Theatre, London and Bunty Mainwaring in The Vortex by Noël Coward at the Donmar Theatre, London. In 2004, she played Sabina in The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder at the Young Vic Theatre Theatre, London. In 2008, she played Nadia Baliye in The Vertical Hour by David Hare at the Royal Court Theatre London. In 2009, she played Olivia in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with Donmar West End at Wyndham's Theatre, London. In 2012, she played Jessica in Terry Johnson's Hysteria at the Theatre Royal, Bath. In 2013 she played Miss Cutts in The Hothouse by Harold Pinter in the Trafalgar Transformed season at Trafalgar Studios.[13]

In 2014, Varma played Tamora, Queen of the Goths, in Lucy Bailey's "gore-fest" production of Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare's Globe.[14] In 2015, she appeared alongside Ralph Fiennes in Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman at the National Theatre.[15]

Personal life

Married to fellow actor Colin Tierney, the couple live with their daughter Evelyn in Hornsey, North London.[16][17]


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love Maya
1997 Clancy's Kitchen Kitty
1997 Sixth Happiness Amy
1998 Jinnah Ruttie Jinnah
2002 Mad Dogs Narendra
2004 Rover's Return Zeta Short film
2004 Bride and Prejudice Kiran
2006 Basic Instinct 2 Denise Glass
2007 Sex and Death 101 Devon Sever Uncredited
2013 Mindscape Judith
2014 Exodus: Gods and Kings High Priestess
2016 Una Sonia
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Crucial Tales Manreet Episode: "Phoenix"
1999 Psychos Dr. Martine Nichol TV miniseries
2000 Zehn wahnsinnige Tage Ra TV movie
2000 Other People's Children Amy TV series
2000 Sci-Fright Host – Nina TV series
2000–2001 Attachments Sasha 4 episodes
2001 In a Land of Plenty Sonali Ganatra 4 episodes
2001 Whistle-Blower, TheThe Whistle-Blower Diane Crossman TV movie
2002 Arena Gila Episode: "One for the Road"
2003 Rockface Alison Episode: "2.5"
2003 Canterbury Tales, TheThe Canterbury Tales Meena Episode: "The Sea Captain's Tale"
2003 Reversals Kathy Irwin TV movie
2004 Donovan Cara Mathis TV series
2005 Quatermass Experiment, TheThe Quatermass Experiment Judith Carroon TV movie
2005 Love Soup Suzanne Daley Episode: "They Do Not Move"
2005 Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets, AA Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets Lucie TV movie
2005 Broken News Melanie Bellamy 6 episodes
2005 Little Britain Babysitting Mother
Health Spa Receptionist
3 episodes
2005–2007 Rome Niobe of the Voreni 15 episodes
2006 Inspector Lynley Mysteries, TheThe Inspector Lynley Mysteries Melissa Booth Episode: "In the Blink of an Eye"
2006 Torchwood Suzie Costello Episode: "Everything Changes"
Episode: "They Keep Killing Suzie"
2006 3 lbs Dr. Adrianne Holland 6 episodes
2007 The Whistleblowers Alisha Cole 6 episodes
2008 Comanche Moon Therese Wanz Episode: "1.2"
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Bela Khan Episode: "Assassin"
2008 Bones Inspector Cate Pritchard Episode: "The Yanks in the U.K.: Parts 1 & 2"
2009 Inside the Box Catherine Powell TV movie
2009 Moses Jones Dolly 3 episodes
2010 Arena Various Episode: "Harold Pinter: A Celebration"
2010 Hustle D.C.I. Lucy Britford Episode: "And This Little Piggy Had Money"
Episode: "The Hush Heist"
2010 Luther Zoe Luther 6 episodes
2010–2011 Human Target Ilsa Pucci 13 episodes
2012 Silk George Duggan 6 episodes
2012 Hunted Natalie Thorpe Episode: "1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4"
2012 World Without End Mattie Wise Episode: "Knight"
Episode: "King"
2013 What Remains Elaine Markham TV series
2014–present Game of Thrones Ellaria Sand 11 episodes (main cast Season 5-, recurring Season 4)
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2016)
2016 New Blood Lisa Douglas TV series
2016 Paranoid Nina Suresh TV series
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Dragon Age: Inquisition Vivienne


  1. Hinckley, David (17 November 2010). "'Human Target' wisely adds actresses Indira Varma and Janet Montgomery into formerly boys' club cast". New York Daily News. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  2. Logan, Michael (15 October 2010). "Double Exposure for Indira Varma". TV Guide. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  3. "Culture, Arts and Entertainment". Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  4. "Vorenus Hearts Varma", Nirali Magazine Blog
  5. Hickman, Clayton; Tom Spilsbury (13 September 2006). "Torchwood Update...". Doctor Who Magazine. Panini Comics (373): 4.
  6. "Citytv – 3 LBS". Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  7. "CHUM Limited – Press Release – CHUM Television". CHUM Limited. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  8. Mahan, Colin (30 November 2006). "CBS sheds 3 Lbs.". Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  9. Ausiello, Michael (23 July 2010). "Scoop: 'Human Target' takes aim at 'Rome' beauty Indira Varma". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  10. "'Game of Thrones' casts 'Rome' actress for season 4 – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  11. "Game of Thrones Season 5 Update: Dorne comes to Belfast and Portstewart filming rolls on". Watchers On The Wall. 4 August 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  12. "'Game of Thrones' Season 6 First Look". Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  13. Billington, Michael. "The Hothouse – review". the Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  14. Spencer, Charles (2 May 2014). "Titus Andronicus, review: 'a dramatic power that makes the stomach churn and the hands sweat'". Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  15. Billington, Michael (26 February 2015). "Man and Superman review – Ralph Fiennes masters Shaw's contrary male".
  16. "Indira Varma Interview HUMAN TARGET", 25 October 2010 Archived 27 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. "20 questions with Indira Varma". What's on Stage. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 19 Nov 2016.

External links

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