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.
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.”
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.