Mahira Kakkar is a New York-based actress who was born in Calcutta, India. She migrated early to the United States with her family. The name ‘Mahira’ was given by her grandfather, which is derived from the Urdu word Mahir meaning “talented.” During her childhood, she dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer, a rock star, or an actor. Mahira first felt the attraction towards the stage when she was 10. She watched the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets in Kolkata and desperately wanted to be a dancer. Her parents took her to every concert in the city even if it was a boring one. She won many prizes in elocution contests in school. Along with this, she is trained in Bharatanatyam dance and Indian classical music. Mahira is a gold medalist in English Literature from Jadavpur University.
According to Mahira, this institution encourages its students to stretch their imaginations beyond books. Later, Mahira attended The Juilliard School Drama Division in New York City where she worked very hard to be a part of the department’s theatrical production. Later, she graduated from The Juilliard School Drama Division in New York City and was trained in acting by Harold Guksin. She is also known to be the first person of Indian origin to address The Juilliard School Drama Division. Later, she went on to become part of regional theatres and television throughout her acting career. She played the role of Mrs Rupa Mehra in Netflix’s “A Suitable Boy” (2020). While she was attending The Juilliard School Drama Division in New York City, Americans found her name difficult to pronounce, so Gillian Jacobs, an American actress, gave her the nickname “Mah,” which was easier to pronounce than her real name. Having a keen interest in theatres, in January 2013, Mahira worked in the play “Clive” at The New Group, the play was directed by Ethan Hawke who also acted in the play along with other actors including Vincent D’Onofrio and Zoe Kazan. She has also performed in many shows worldwide. It wasn’t easy for Mahira to carve a niche for herself in the field of acting, and she became a victim of racism in America while pursuing her acting career.
She is married to John Paul Davis who is a poet, musician, and programmer by profession. He is the author of the book Crown Prince of Rabbits. They live in New York. Mahira also joined DSA which stands for (Democratic Socialists of America). It is a non-business entity whose members’ ideological views range from social democracy to democratic socialism and includes various perspective.’ She has more attraction towards wit, humour, young adult fiction, and language-driven pieces.
She has also played some strong women characters in various plays like Viola in Twelfth Night, Emily Webb in Our Town, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Irina in Three Sisters. She has a standard American and British dialect. She is well-versed in many languages such as French, Afghani, German, Cockney, and Pakistani, and is fluent in Hindi and Bengali. She is a dog lover, and she has a huge passion for reading books. She also loves to explore new places by walking around. She believes it is one of the best ways to know a place well, and she finds it exciting & relaxing.
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