Varma was raised in Bath, Somerset, the only child of an Indian father and a Swiss mother who was of part Genoese Italian descent. She was a member of Musical Youth Theatre Company and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, in 1995.
Varma, a method actress, has had a number of television and film roles, including Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love in 1996, Jinnah in 1998, and Bride and Prejudice in 2004, and the young Roman wife Niobe during the 2005 first season of BBC/HBO's historical drama series Rome. Her character appeared briefly in the second season of the award-winning series when it aired on 14 January 2007.
In 2006, she played Suzie Costello in the first and eighth episodes, "Everything Changes" and "They Keep Killing Suzie", of BBC Three's science-fiction drama series Torchwood. She appeared as Dr Adrienne Holland in the CBS medical drama 3 lbs which premiered on 14 November 2006 and was cancelled on 30 November 2006 due to poor ratings. Varma guest starred in the fourth-season premiere of hit US detective drama Bones as Scotland Yard Inspector Cate Pritchard. She also played the role of Zoe Luther in the first series of the BBC drama Luther.
Varma played the role of Ilsa Pucci in the second season of the Fox series Human Target until the show was cancelled on 10 May 2011.
In 2014, Varma was cast as Ellaria Sand, the paramour of Oberyn Martell in season 4 of the HBO series Game of Thrones. She played the role through season 7.
She lent her voice to the Circle mage Vivienne, in the 2014 role-playing video game Dragon Age: Inquisition. Later on, she also gave her voice to Katherine Proudmoore in Battle for Azeroth, one of the most recent expansion in the MMO role-playing game World of Warcraft.
In 2016, she played the lead role of DC Nina Suresh in the eight-episode British television drama Paranoid, streamed worldwide on Netflix.
Varma portrays a reform-minded corrections official in the 2020 ABC legal drama For Life, and will star opposite Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+.
Dressing Up Your Dressing Downs with Indira Varma
August 22, 2014
Game of Thrones Ellaria Sand Interview - Indira Varma
March 27, 2014
Robert Glenister And Indira Varma On New Conspiracy Thriller Paranoid | This Morning
September 22, 2016