When Bend It Like Beckham was released in 2002, it gave women's football a platform. Not only did it inspire young people to follow their dreams despite what stands in their way, it also became the highest grossing Indian-themed film in the United States.
The British-Indian film directed by Gurinder Chadha became a global feel-good hit and catapulted Keira Knightley to stardom. After 15 years, it's only fitting to take a look at where the cast started and where they are now.
Parminder Nagra as Jess Bhamra
Before taking on the main role in Bend It Like Beckham, the then 26-year-old actress already had a handful of stage and screen credits to her name. Most notably, she stared in the British medical dramas Holby City and Casualty.
At age 42, Nagra has continued to act steadily with roles in TV series Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D, The Blacklist and ER. As of 2018, she has had a supporting role in Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.
Keira Knightley as Jules Paxton
At age 17, Knightley already had ten years of acting experience under her belt with her most notable title being the first Star Wars prequel.
Now, she is most commonly known for her portrayal of Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Knightley is also a two-time Oscar nominee and has four movies in the works including, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The Aftermath, Official Secrets and Berlin, I Love You.
Archie Panjabi as Pinky Bhamra
Before being cast as the spunky older sister of Jess, the then 29-year-old had appeared in a few short films and a smattering of guest television roles.
She has since won an Emmy for her role on The Good Wife and took the lead role in British drama Next of Kin. The 46-year-old actress also has a recurring role in Blindspot.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Joe
Having acted for eight years prior to joining the cast of Bend It Like Beckham, the Irish star had a number of films to his name. The most notable titles for the then 24-year-old were Prozac Nation and Ride with the Devil.
The now 41-year-old actor has continued to star in films almost yearly since his Beckham days as well as adding television credits to his CV. In 2013 he took up the lead role of Dracula in the tv series Dracula, and since 2017 has had an ongoing role as Bishop Heahmund in Vikings.
Anupam Kher as Mr Bhamra
The then 47-year-old actor was already an award winning star in Hindi cinema when he landed the role as Jess' strict, yet supportive, father.
Keeping busy in both Bollywood and Hollywood, the 63-year-old has been in films such as Hotel Mumbai and Love Sonia. He also had a role in the TV medical drama New Amsterdam.
Gurinder Chadha / Director and co-writer
Although she is not cast, she deserves a spot in this list because without her we wouldn't have a film. Prior to directing Bend It Like Beckham, the then 42-year-old had had success as a reporter and documentary maker. Her first feature film Bhaji on the Beach premiered in 1993.
Six years after Beckham's release, Chadha directed the popular yet another teen flick Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. She is currently filming a musical dramaedy inspired by Bruce Springsteen titled Blinded by the Light which is due for release in 2019.
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