English actress Indira Varma was born in Bath, Somerset, England. The only child of an Indian father and a Swiss-Genoese mother, she trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, graduating there in 1995. She was also initially a member of the Musical Youth Theatre Company, based in her hometown, as a teenager.
Varma’s early credits were centered on British audiences. Her first film, Clancy’s Kitchen, was an independent comedy released in 1996. Her other early films include Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Jinnah and Mad Dogs. She also appeared in such television shows as Crucial Tales: Phoenix, Psychos and Attachments. Her career rose to further prominence in the 2000s, starting with the film Bride and Prejudice, the 2004 adaptation to the novel Pride and Prejudice with an Indian twist.
Varma then had prominent roles in several television shows. She played a role in the groundbreaking comedy Broken News, which parodies several news programs and current events. She played the role of Suzie Costello, the second-in-command of Torchwood Three, in two episodes of Torchwood. She also played several minor roles in the award-winning comedy Little Britain. In 2005, she starred in the American medical drama 3 lbs, as the coy neurologist Adrienne Holland; her role didn’t last long, as the program was quickly cancelled due to dismal ratings.
After a role in the film Basic Instinct 2, Varma returned to television. She played the role of Niobe, the wife of Roman soldier Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd), in the miniseries Rome. She also had a starring role in the television drama The Whistleblowers.
Varma is also active on stage, performing in several plays staged in West End and off-Broadway locations. Some of her notable performances include those in Othello, Ivanov, The Skin of Our Teeth and The Vertical Hour.
- Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
- Clancy's Kitchen (1997)
- Sixth Happiness (1997)
- Jinnah (1998)
- Mad Dogs (2002)
- Bride & Prejudice (2004)
- Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
- Psychos (regular, 1999)
- Attachments (recurring, 2000-2001)
- Broken News (regular, 2005)
- Rome (regular, 2005-2007)
- 3 lbs. (regular, 2006)
- The Whistleblowers (regular, 2007)
- Luther (regular, 2010)
- Human Target (regular, 2010-2011)