A Suitable Boy star on ‘pressure’ of iconic role: “It’s not my job to satisfy everybody”

Indian actor Tanya Maniktala is making her debut alongside some of Bollywood's biggest names - and in one of literature's most iconic roles.

First look image of Lata (Tanya Maniktala) and Mrs Rupa Mehra (Mahira Kakkar) in BBC One’s A Suitable Boy

Taking on one of literature’s most iconic roles would be daunting for any actor – and for A Suitable Boy’s lead Tanya Maniktala, the six-part series also marks her first major on-screen role.

Advertisement

The BBC One series is adapted from Vikram Seth’s sprawling book of the same name, and Maniktala plays its protagonist, Lata, a young university student living in North India in 1951.

However, the young actor has stressed that in taking on such a memorable character, she knew she couldn’t “satisfy everybody”.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Maniktala said, “Of course, of course [I felt pressure], in the beginning I was so afraid that I can never live up to the high [expectations]. My best friend loves this book, so when I told her I am playing Lata, she was the first one to tell me, ‘If you do not do a good job, I think we’re over’.”

She continued, “I mean, expectations come with all sorts of things you do… I would say, if I feel I did justice to the character, the audience would see it. It’s not my job to satisfy everybody. I do what I feel the character needs, and it’s for the audience to judge if they like it or not.”

A Suitable Boy
BBC Pictures

The actress makes her debut in a cast featuring some of Bollywood’s biggest names, including leading man Ishaan Khatter (Beyond the Clouds, Dhadak) and Tabu (The Namesake, Life of Pi).

A Suitable Boy airs on BBC One for British and Irish viewers, and on Netflix internationally. 

Advertisement

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.