Archie Panjabi, the star of ‘Hijack,’ guarantees that the Apple thriller series will keep you on the edge of your seat with anticipation.

Archie Panjabi portrays the character Zarah, a counter-terrorist agent, in the latest Apple TV+ series called “Hijack.” In the show, Zarah receives information suggesting a significant event has taken place aboard a London-bound airplane. Initially dismissed as a false alarm, this tip holds greater significance as the story unfolds.

Idris Elba, who is not only an actor but also a producer, takes on the role of Sam Nelson, a businessman, in the Apple TV+ series “Hijack.” Sam finds himself in a gripping situation as he attempts to outsmart the hijackers on the plane through a series of daring maneuvers, each carrying a significant level of risk and uncertainty. The outcome of his high-stakes gambits remains uncertain as the story progresses.

Co-created by Jim Field Smith and George Kay, the thrilling series “Hijack” premieres its initial two episodes on June 28 exclusively on Apple TV+. Starring Archie Panjabi, known for her roles in Peacock’s “Departure” and TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” the show guarantees an adrenaline-filled experience for viewers throughout its eight episodes, all of which unfold in real time. Brace yourself to be on the edge of your seat as the gripping narrative of “Hijack” captivates audiences.

Ahead of the series’ debut, the Emmy-winning actress, recognized for her portrayal of Kalinda Sharma on “The Good Wife,” had a conversation with TheWrap. During the interview, she discussed the recurring theme of finding herself in perilous situations aboard planes and trains, revealing why this particular narrative element continues to captivate her.

TheWrap: Following your involvement in the plane thriller series “Departure,” did you have any reservations about taking on another project in a similar vein?

Archie Panjabi: Quite the opposite, actually. I have a fondness for planes and flying, and it seems that I’ve found myself working on projects set on planes and trains quite frequently. In addition to “Departure,” I also had the opportunity to be part of “Snowpiercer” and “Run,” both of which took place on trains. Interestingly, even the second season of “Departure” returned to the train setting. It almost feels like a pattern, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my upcoming roles also involve planes or trains in some way.

Upon reading the script, I found myself utterly engrossed. The gripping narrative had me captivated, eagerly yearning to uncover the fate of those passengers. Working alongside the talented team, including Apple, Idris, George, and Jim, only added to my excitement. Furthermore, the character itself resonated deeply with me, providing a fantastic opportunity to fully immerse myself in its complexities. I knew instantly that this role would be one that I could truly sink my teeth into.

Could you please provide more context or information about Zarah and Kendra? Are they characters from different shows or are they characters portrayed by the same actress?

Archie Panjabi in "Departure"(Peacock)
© Provided by TheWrap
Archie Panjabi in “Departure”(Peacock)
© Provided by TheWrap

One aspect that really appealed to me was that Zarah possesses a calm demeanor, yet she exhibits a certain level of brusqueness, setting her apart from characters like Kendra. When something bothers her, she lacks a filter and simply speaks her mind. For instance, rather than politely asking for attention during a meeting, she might forcefully tap the glass and demand someone’s presence by saying, “Come here.” Additionally, if she becomes agitated, she doesn’t conceal it. I found it refreshing and delightful to embrace the opportunity to portray a character who embodies such qualities.

What makes creating a thriller like this so enjoyable?

It’s incredibly thrilling, especially when you come across a script that grips you from start to finish. The aspect I particularly love about this project is the anticipation it builds, as initially, only two episodes are premiering, followed by weekly releases. I can already envision my friends from around the world reaching out at all hours, eager to discuss what unfolds in the series. The fact that I can’t reveal any details adds to the excitement. It’s a fantastic feeling to know that your friends are genuinely invested in a TV show, and I believe many of them will thoroughly enjoy this experience.

Given the real-time narrative format of this series, it brings to mind the iconic show “24.” Were you a fan of “24”?

Although I didn’t have the opportunity to watch much of it, I was indeed a fan of “24.” The minute-by-minute coverage in that show was captivating, as it made you feel like a silent observer within the unfolding events. This approach heightened the suspense, and I believe it lends itself exceptionally well to the series at hand, especially considering the context of a seven-hour flight, where tension simmers like a ticking bomb.

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