BBC One’s A Suitable Boy adaptation features an all-Indian cast, portraying the now iconic characters from Vikram Seth’s bestseller of the same name.
Tanya Maniktala, who plays the young protagonist Lata Mehra, previously told RadioTimes.com that it was important to cast Indian actors, rather than British Indian, given the show’s post-partition backdrop.
The cast features some of Bollywood’s biggest stars, including Tabu, Namit Das and Ishaan Khatter. Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters of A Suitable Boy.
Tanya Maniktala plays Lata Mehra
Who is Lata Mehra? The book’s main protagonist: a young university student living in 1950s North India, who is determined to find her own path – despite her mother’s assertions that she needs to settle down with “a suitable boy”.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Tanya Maniktala said of her role, “Lata’s character I feel has a lot of shades to it, she’s very colourful, she’s full of life, she’s a young girl who’s very confident.”
She continued, “[Lata is] this young girl who’s on this journey to find herself, and what she wants – in spite of the fact that what her mother might want for her is very different. She chooses what she wants, and she’s only guided by her soul and what her heart says. So that for me is Lata, a very confident girl, not afraid of making mistakes or falling down because she knows she’ll come back stronger.”
Where have I seen Tanya Maniktala before? The relative newcomer (handpicked by director Mira Nair) has only one other screen credit to her name: the web TV series Flames, in which she plays Ishita.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better debut, she is a dream to work with. She’s so clear in her vision,” Tanya Maniktala said of Nair in an interview with RadioTimes.com.
Tabu plays Saeeda Bai
Who is Saeeda Bai? A courtesan and musician who begins a relationship with Maan Kapoor.
Where have I seen Tabu before? The award-winning Indian film actress is a Bollywood legend, with credits including Coolie No. 1, Life of Pi, Jai Ho, and Andhadhun.
Ishaan Khatter plays Maan Kapoor
Who is Maan Kapoor? Lata’s brother-in-law, and the son of a prominent politician, he is in love with an older courtesan, Saeeda Bai.
Where have I seen Ishaan Katter before? A Bollywood star, his film credits include Half Widow, Udta Punjab, Beyond the Clouds, and Dhadak.
Rasika Dugal plays Savita Mehra Kapoor
Who is Savita Mehra Kapoor? Lata’s older sister, who marries Pran Kapoor, a university lecturer, at the start of Vikram Seth’s novel.
Where have I seen Rasika Dugal before? The Indian film and television actress has starred in various projects, including Netflix series Dehli Crime (based on the 2012 Dehli gang rape). She’s also starred in Amazon Prime’s Made In Heaven, and in the films Anwar, Manto, and Once Again.
Mahira Kakkar plays Rupa Mehra
Who is Rupa Mehra? Lata’s mother, she is determined to find her younger daughter a “suitable boy”.
Where have I seen Mahira Kakkar before? The Indian actress is known for roles in for Hank and Asha, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods, and previously starred in Orange Is The New Black as Chaarumathi.
Ram Kapoor plays Mahesh Kapoor
Who is Mahesh Kapoor? Maan’s politician father, he strongly disapproves of his younger son’s infatuation with a courtesan.
Where have I seen Ram Kapoor before? The Indian television presenter and actor is perhaps best known for his roles as Jai Walia in the TV series Kasamh Se, and as Ram Kapoor in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain. He also hosts the Indian version of The Bachelorette.
Gagan Dev Riar plays Pran Kapoor
Who is Pran Kapoor? Lata’s brother-in-law, and married to Savita.
Where have I seen Gagan Dev Riar before? The actor has starred in Sonchiriya, Not Fit, and Sunsilk Real FM.
Danesh Razvi plays Kabir Durrani
Who is Kabir Durrani? Lata’s first love interest, whom she later discovers is Muslim.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Tanya Maniktala said ,”Kabir the first suitor is [Lata’s] university lover, a guy she comes across in her university in the library, and Lata has this very wild, very free side with Kabir that’s she never really had before, she’s very passionate with him.”
Where have I seen Danesh Razvi before? This is the actor’s first major role on-screen.
Mikhail Sen plays Amit Chatterji
Who is Amit Chatterji? Lata’s second love interest, an England-educated poet.
Where have I seen Mikhail Sen before? The screen and theatre actor is perhaps best known for play Helenus in the 2018 Royal Shakespeare Company production Troilus and Cressida.
Namit Das plays Haresh Khanna
Who is Haresh Khanna? Lata’s third love interest, the pragmatic owner of a shoe factory.
Where have I seen Namit Das before? A famed Indian musician and Bollywood actor, he has released a music album, and starred in a number of films, TV shows and plays. His more recent film roles include Pataakha, Sui Dhaaga, and Hamari Adhuri Kahani.
Shubham Saraf plays Firoz Ali Khan
Who is Firoz Ali Khan? Maan’s best friend, he also falls for Tasneem.
Where have I seen Shubham Saraf before? British audiences will likely recognise the actor for his roles in Honour, BBC One’s Bodyguard (as Tahir), Fresh Meat, and the recent Netflix series Criminal: UK.
Joyeeta Dutta plays Tasneem
Who is Tasneem? The younger sister of courtesan Saeeda Bai.
Where have I seen Joyeeta Dutta before? This is the actor’s first major on-screen role.
Randeep Hooda plays Billy Irani
Who is Billy Irani? A friend of Lata’s brother, Arun Mehra.
Where have I seen Randeep Hooda before? The prolific actor is perhaps best known for his roles in Highway, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, and Netflix’s international crime thriller Extraction, in addition to the likes of Shooter and Beeba Boys.
A Suitable Boy begins BBC One on Sunday, 26th July at 9pm for UK and Irish viewers, and will be available on Netflix internationally.
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.