Mira Nair’s six-part adaptation of Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel, A Suitable Boy, will air on television in June 2020. She spoke about working with 110 Indian actors, some of whom don’t even know they’ve been cast yet:
I’m really honoured and terribly excited to make Vikram Seth’s great novel, which I’ve loved since it was published — A Suitable Boy. I’m very excited to be director of all six hours of A Suitable Boy that we’re making with BBC (and probably another platform), that will be on our screens in June 2020. And it’s with 110 Indian actors: It’s a great opportunity to tell the story of independent India.
The casting is full of bounty and full of beauty. A Suitable Boy is an incredible canvas of very rich characters. Tabu plays Saeeda Bai, the courtesan based on Begum Akhtar. Randeep Hooda, my discovery from Monsoon Wedding, is this cool stud in Calcutta called Billy Irani. Shefali Shah, a wonderful actor, plays Roopa Mehra, the mother of the young woman, for whom she wants the suitable boy. Vivaan Shah plays this wastrel lout who turns good. We’re in talks with Naseeruddin Shah, we hope he’ll play a major role. We are in talks with several people; some total discoveries. I just recently cast Vijay Varma, from Gully Boy: he plays a very important role, of Rashid. And Vijay Raaz, my wonderful PK Dubey from Monsoon Wedding. And Vivek Gomber plays a very important role… A lot of these people don’t know that they are cast in it yet! They’ll discover it here.