It’s never easy gaining a foothold in the entertainment industry, irrespective of where you are in the world.
It’s harder when you are a person of colour and, by some stroke of luck, you aren’t typecast when you land that plum role.
For Sandy Sidhu, landing the role of Nazneen Khan in “Nurses”, was a big deal and deserving of a bit of noise.
And she has reprised her role in the second instalment of the medical drama on Universal TV.
In the same way that there is a proliferation of crime dramas on the small screen, the same can be said of medical dramas.
Nurses sets itself apart from other shows by ensuring it ticks the diversity box while also shifting the perspective of the narrative.
Sidhu said: “All other medical dramas tend to put our nurses in the periphery, which can create an idea that perhaps they aren’t as critical to the patient recovery process as our doctors – when in fact, our nurses are massive contributors to the healing process.
“So with our show, we get to focus on our nurses, honouring their stories and concentrating on their daily heroic efforts, which makes our show stand out.
“I’ve noticed a lot has changed in the last five years towards making our film and television sets more inclusive and diverse.
“I had a real tough time coming up as an actor because the opportunities just weren’t there and I was scrounging for parts.
“I’m thankful that there has been a positive change in our industry.
“I’m proof of that.
“However, we still have a lot more work to do.”
On Nazneen’s growth from season one, she said: “Yes, last season Nazneen was full of insecurities and was on a path of redemption. She had no idea who she was.
“Thankfully, by the end of the season, she was finally able to let go of her immense grief and guilt of her twin brother passing away in India. She accepted that she really can be a good nurse.
“Off the top of this season premiere, I really believe Nazneen thinks her life is perfect.
“She loves nursing and has an extremely comfortable lifestyle thanks to her family wealth.
“It’s her patient, Willow (played by Jean Yoon), who changes the trajectory of her life.
“Willow, being a highly successful chef in the city, shares a perspective with Nazneen that until you lead a completely independent life without help, you can’t truly know who you are.
“Willow has such an everlasting impact on Nazneen, that she decides to cut herself off completely from her family. We follow her journey from there.
“In deciding to fend for herself without the family wealth as her “security blanket”, Nazneen encounters has to face a few harsh life lessons, too.
“Nazneen doesn’t want her family wealth to buffer her from the realities of life. But the struggle to find true independence from her family money isn’t as easy as she’d hoped.”
“Nurses” season 2 airs on Universal TV (DStv channel 117) on Tuesdays at 8pm.