EXCLUSIVE: A Suitable Boy actor Shubham Saraf is starring in Apple TV+’s adaption of Shantaram which is due to stream later this year [yet to be confirmed]. Filme Shilmy learns that he is cast as one of the lead roles. “[The book] has gone through about 10 iterations of directors, writers and actors. Finally, it’s being made and I am lucky enough to be in this one,” he tells us.
The 10-part series is based on Gregory David Roberts’ novel of the same name. It revolves around a fugitive from an Australian prison, who flees to India in the hope of disappearing. There he builds a new life in the Mumbai underworld. Also joining the cast are Alexander Siddig, Charlie Hunnam and Radhika Apte. It is backed by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television.
The casting coup is divulged following our interaction with Saraf following the success of his stage production, The Father And The Assassin. It currently plays at London’s National Theatre where he stars as Nathuram Godse, the murderer of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Speaking more about breaking barriers in the West, Shubham describes: “In many ways, it’s been great. I feel like I’ve been very lucky. But I am still working hard to graft the career that I’d really like. The next thing I would like to do is play a part that is not centrally about being Indian.”
“Even though it’s really nice and very important to explore stories that are centred around the Indian or British-Asian experience, I am also human. It’s been hard but fruitful work.” He notes how he is keen to explore different shades, cultures and milieus through his work as an actor. We even reference the example of the colour-blind casting of Dev Patel in The Personal History Of David Copperfield. To this, Saraf agrees and feels that such acquisitions are ‘great’.
The British-Indian actor is a graduate of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has risen to fame in Netflix’s Criminal: UK and BBC’s Bodyguard series. There have been talks of Saraf starring in Sujoy Ghosh’s Blind, but this is yet to be confirmed.