Tina Parmer is a one woman wonder. Star of her own TV series Taboo, she tells Harneet Bhullar what it's like playing 12 characters herself
It's not every day you meet a woman who has created and stars in her own TV series, we bow down to you Tina! The show in question is called Taboo, and it's based in Birmingham, what else can you tell us about it?
I can’t reveal too much but it’s a comedy drama about a Gujrati girl called Tanya. The reason I chose that is because I am a Hindu girl myself. It’s about her experiences of dating a mixed race guy. They are having a few problems because it’s come to a point where he wants her to tell her parents about him. Being from an Indian heritage she is struggling to tell her parents. She has many friends in the series however I don’t want to tell you too much about the characters just yet. There are a lot of Bollywood influences it's almost like a Bollywood urban movie fused with Indian serial moments - there's a lot of dramatic double flashing!
How many episodes are there?
There are six episodes and each one is thirty minutes long so it's perfect to watch any time of the day, with breakfast or even on your lunch break!
What inspired you to make your own TV show?
I actually come from a law background and am a law lecturer. However I have always done silly voices in my spare time so it’s just something that comes naturally. A friend of mine suggested I make a pilot episode and it went on the web and the response was great. That's where my character grew from and that’s when I decided I should make this big. In terms of the story I wanted to do something real and relevant. Relationship are still a big problem within the Asian community. Being with a white gentleman isn’t so taboo anymore there is still a stigma attached to dating someone who is black - it's something people have spoken to me and messaged me about so I knew it would appeal. The main character is based upon a real story but the rest are characters you may recognise from the Asian community, anywhere in the UK.
What message does the show have for the audience?
I guess it's about growing up. As an Asian girl there isn’t a lot of support to push boundaries. The things I have done in this series are very taboo. A lot of people will be like OMG an Asian girl should not do this. However it's 2016, it’s time for a change and I wanted to be the person who stepped up. It doesn’t matter what race you - you can do what you want and change things if that's what you want to do. I've made this for a 16+ audience, and it's not something you'd want to watch with your parents, this was made for you to enjoy with your friends!
So tell us about all these characters you play!
I play 12 characters it's crazy. It was fun, I have never acted before but it came easily to me. It just happens naturally when I change into that character. I am a person who can pick up on someone’s mannerisms. David in the cast has been to drama school and he spoke to me about what he learnt there and he also said that he thought I was a natural without going to any classes.
You trained in law but was there ever an inkling to do acting, since you're such a natural?
Now I've made the show I would love to do more acting and I have been approached for roles so let's see if any of those take off!
What's next for Taboo?
I have written the script for Taboo 2 so it's all ready to be filmed. The show will be aired on Brit Asia TV and I am looking forward to see how people take it. So far it’s all positives and no negatives or anything rude but I am looking forward to how the older generation and younger react to it.
Taboo is set to air on Brit Asia TV soon!
Interview: Harneet Bhullar