Mira Nair finds a suitable mother

Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 07:43 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

After Shefali Shah exits project, director ropes in Orange Is The New Black actor Mahira Kakkar to play the matriarch in A Suitable Boy

Mahira Kakkar
Mahira Kakkar

Months after Mira Nair revealed that she had zeroed in on Shefali Shah to play the pivotal part of Rupa Mehra in her adaptation of A Suitable Boy, mid-day has learnt that Shah is no longer associated with the project. Instead, the filmmaker — known for her sharp eye for discovering talented artistes — has roped in Mahira Kakkar for the role. A Juilliard-trained actor, Kakkar comes armed with significant portrayals in American shows, including Orange Is The New Black, The Blacklist and Law & Order.

A source reveals, "Shefali and Mira's dates weren't matching, so she bowed out of the project."

Mira Nair
Mira Nair. Pic/Getty Images

Kakkar understands the responsibility that comes with headlining a Nair venture. "I first saw some of Miraji's films when I was a kid and was blown away by her visual storytelling and attention to emotional detail. Rupa Mehra is a character with grit and grace who has a deep well of feelings, particularly when it comes to her family. Inhabiting her feels like a homage to women who could so easily be dismissed, because their concern was their families' welfare."

Shefali Shah
Shefali Shah. Pic/ Shadab Khan

Set in 1951, the Vikram Seth novel revolves around the spirited Lata — essayed by Tanya Maniktala — who is keen to find her own identity, while her mother Rupa is determined to find her a husband. Rasika Dugal has been roped in to play Lata's sister Savita while Namit Das essays the role of Haresh, one of Lata's three suitors.

Rasika
Rasika Dugal and Namit Das

"Working with Mira Nair has been on my bucket list, and there couldn't be greater joy than to do so on the adaptation of the literary gem," gushes Dugal. Das adds, "Haresh has a lot of depth to him, so it will be interesting to portray him." Danesh Razvi and Gagan Dev Riar will be part of the six-episode series, which also features Tabu and Ishaan Khatter.

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