After winning the Miss India U.S.A. pageant, Pooja was selected by Amitabh Bachchan Corp. Ltd, as one of the budding new stars out of 60,000 contestants. Later she became a video disc jockey for Channel V but eventually returned to her true passion, acting. In pursuit of this dream, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has acted as the main lead in 10 feature films: two in Tamil, “Kaadhal Rojave,” “Chota Jadugar”(also in 3-D); in English, “Flavors”, “Night of Henna”, “Park Sharks”, “Hiding Divya’, “Anything For You”, “Knots Urbane”, “Bollywood Beats”, and “Drawing with Chalk”. She has also played a District Attorney on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit with Kal Penn known for the Harold and Kumar Goes to White Castle franchise. In her latest project called “Bollywood Hero”, Pooja stars opposite the famous and witty American comedian, Chris Kattan. She plays Chris’s romantic lead and love interest on a journey to India to become a Bollywood star. The project premiered on the IFC Network in August 2009 - Keanu Reeves, Maya Rudolph, and Adam Samberg have all made special appearances in the three-part TV Mini-Series. This show has been heralded as one of the summer’s funniest romantic comedies.
For her role in “Flavors” Pooja received the Screen
Actor’s Guild Emerging Actor Award. Her performance in “Night of
Henna” has been widely appreciated, especially by A.O. Scott of
the New York Times, who wrote that Kumar has an “unassuming
loveliness about her role.”
This is a tale of a couple trying to deal with the harsh realities of life while trying to fulfill their dreams at the same time. Pooja has been recognized in major ad campaigns for Pepsi, Budweiser, American On-Line, Verizon, Bombay Dreams, Dodge, TATA True Roots, Outback Steakhouse, Pearl Vision, New York Lotto, and First Response. She also served as host for a comedic show for ImaginAsian TV called “Movies for the ImaginAsian,” in which she introduces Chinese, Japanese, and Bollywood films to second generation Asians.