In what was a well-kept secret, the actress that will play the protagonist in Mira Nair’s adaptation of A Suitable Boy has been revealed to be web series Flames’ star Tanya Maniktala, who will play the lead protagonist, Lata, in the six-part series.
Maniktala will star in the series opposite acclaimed Indian actress Tabu who has previously worked with Mira Nair for The Namesake and Ishaan Khatter, who will be playing the role of Maan, who is determined to enjoy life to the full whatever the consequences, much to the concern of his politician father. He is infatuated with courtesan Saaeda Bai who is played by Tabu. Indian actor, Vijay Varma, will also be working in the series.
Tabu has said in a statement by the BBC: “Coming together with Mira after The Namesake is a thing of great joy for me. And to collaborate with her and the BBC for Vikram Seth’s book is something I’m so looking forward to. Along with being a dedicated and engaging filmmaker, Mira is also someone who is the most fun to work with.”
A Suitable Boy tells the story of spirited university student Lata in 1951, at the same time when the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.
Penned by Andrew Davies and directed by the acclaimed Nair, the show has began production and will shortly begin filming in India.
Nair has said that she is deeply honoured to be the one bringing this intimate, epic tale of an unseen India to the world. “With a mix of legendary and cutting-edge actors from the subcontinent, shooting entirely on location in palaces, villages and streets across northern India, we will keep the history and dream of an alternate India alive,” she said.
The series is produced by the BBC, who were in talks with Netflix to stream A Suitable Boy, which broke down later. There are, however, negotiations taking place with other potential American partners to stream the series.