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Meeting India, from India! Conversation with Queen Charlotte`s India Amarteifio

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As per all (Netflix) accounts, the romantic period drama, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, premièred at number one, pretty much across the world, including India, when it dropped online in May, 2023. 

And, we’re from India. Therefore, can’t resist, soon as we meet the show’s eponymous lead actor, India Amarteifio: “Hey, is there a story behind your name?”
India is quick to respond, “I wish there was. My parents had never been to India. And, apparently, when I came out, my mom said, that’s an Indian!” Which still doesn’t quite explain the global star’s name, that has naturally piqued our interest. 

Unless you consider, “My mom is a big fan of R&B music, and there is an artiste called India Arene, so maybe it had something to do with it. But I know a lot has to do with the country. I should ask her that.” That she’ll actually call her mom to check, makes this conversation special to us, already. 

Corey Mylchreest and India Ria Amarteifio at Netflix’s Tudum event in Sao Paulo

What zaps us further still are the two British-born actors, themselves—Corey Mylchreest, in particular, who plays King George III in Queen Charlotte. If you’ve sat through the first-rate series, you’d know the pictures of gravitas, in the midst of turmoil, they play on the show. 

Seated beside us, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to participate in Netflix’s global fan-event, Tudum, Corey—adorably fidgeting, fixing his posture before the camera—could pass for any other frat-boy, who’d rather Netflix & chill, ideally with India! It’s kinda surreal to mentally adjust to this, during the interview.

“Gen Z, oh, he hates that [term],” India suggests for Corey, as we imply how difficult it must’ve been to get into the frame of mind, of young people, alright—but from another era in a relationship drama. Coming from a world of dating apps, and hook-up culture—dealing with child-bearing and consummation on screen, instead. India was also in Sex Education (2019), for heaven’s sake. 

“I’d love to be a millennial, but I am a Gen Z,” Corey sighs, and adds, “Sorry, this is going to be an incredibly boring answer. I don’t think there are generations [defined] in terms of dating apps or hook-up culture. And it wasn’t the difficult [gap] to bridge.” 

“That wasn’t at the core of the [on-screen] relationship. Making it about other things—the duty, the pressures they’re fighting [against].”

India helps him out: “[The show is] a lot more emotionally driven, and we are emotional people. Exploring love, which is not a straight road—it contains multitudes. It was quite refreshing to play characters in a culture that has no phones, or people seeking social hype; no pretences.” “No social media clout,” Corey chimes in.

The aspect that matches their onscreen chemistry, though, is how Corey still looks in awe of India, in life—directing his answers at her, for approval, heaping praise on her, specifically for how she aced the younger version of actor Golda Rosheauvel (from Bridgerton; also in Queen Charlotte). 

“There’ll be those who won’t agree, but,” she sweetly butts in, pointing out how she was precisely instructed by the “creative team, to take nothing from the actor playing the older version. I have probably subconsciously imbibed some of Golda, watching her as a fan, on Bridgerton.” Their character graph, over decades, shows. 

To speak in journalese, if it wasn’t for an exclusive conversation, albeit a quick one, with India herself—we may not have watched Queen Charlotte of Bridgerton, ourselves! 

For one, it’s a spin-off/prequel to Bridgerton—a series about London soirees, mating/wedding season, singles/suitors; all the modern, updated Jane Austen stuff, based on Julia Quinn’s novels. A wildly popular fiction genre, yes. Yet, not everybody’s cup of light, syrupy tea. 

Nothing quite prepares you then for Queen Charlotte, also scripted by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy), mixing fact with fiction, that is so much more ‘history’ than ‘society’. 

It depressingly deals with mental health [of King George III] that Corey says he had to get right, with research, from books, papers, doctors: “The job is to get as specific as possible, and to give your heart to [the subject], and give the man, a voice.”

It’s not soap-opera, but just as mass-culture, still—you can tell, going by the Queen Charlotte pavilion, next to Squid Games and Stranger Things, at the Tudum ‘spoiler night’, Netflix’s own Comic-Con, in Sao Paulo, where fans gather around replicas of Queen Charlotte’s palace, orange orchards, and the Man Fridays Brimsley, Reynolds, ushering you in!

At its base, it’s the story of how black lives matter, with a queen of colour, taking charge. Was Queen Charlotte, really black? While that changes British imperial history altogether, it’s open to historical debate. [White] Helen Mirren, for instance, played Queen Charlotte in the film, The Madness of King George (1994).
India says, “Having studied history in school, I never knew that this was even a possibility—it’s not surprising to me either, that blacks have been erased from history.” 

“It’s a question that Rhonda deals with brilliantly in the script—what if the British Queen had an African bloodline? So, not just a woman [in power], but a black woman. Would it change how society ran? 

What she shows is as relevant to society today.” 

Speaking of societies, lastly—not that India needs hosting, we can’t help but invite her to the country she’s named after. She’s still never been: “It’s terrible. I have to go. I just have to go!” 



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Jad on Temptation Island: Beautiful, genuine connection between Nikita & me

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Former `Bigg Boss OTT 2` contestant Jad Hadid, who recently featured in `Temptation Island India`, reflected upon his connection with Nikita Bhamidipati, calling it a ‘beautiful and genuine’ bond.

Jad has been making waves with his newfound connection with Nikita. Following Nikita`s decision to end her relationship with Tayne, the two recently exited the show together.

During their departure, Jad displayed a touching moment of emotion, by presenting Nikita with a pendant featuring her daughter`s picture, considering it a precious keepsake.

Reflecting on his connection with Nikita, Jad said: “I`ve always faced challenges in love, but meeting Nikita made me realise that everything happens for a reason. If it`s the end of something, it`s also the beginning of something new.”

“There`s a beautiful and genuine connection between Nikita and me, and I believe it`s the start of a truly wonderful journey for us. A special thanks to Tayne for agreeing to come on this show; it is because of him that I found Nikita,” he added.

Temptation Island India’ airs on JioCinema.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever



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‘The Freelancer: The Conclusion’ trailer promises nerve-wracking action

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The streaming series ‘The Freelancer’ is set to return with its second season titled ‘The Freelancer: The Conclusion’, the trailer of which was unveiled on Tuesday.

The trailer follows the events of rescue of Aliyah by Mohit Raina’s titular character Avinash.

The series is based on the book ‘A Ticket to Syria’ by Shirish Thorat, which also stars Anupam Kher, Kashmira Pardeshi, Sushant Singh, John Kokken, Gauri Balaji, Navneet Malik, Manjiri Faddnis, and Sarah Jane Dias, among others.

Talking about the show and his character, Mohit Raina said, “My inbox was flooded with messages from fans and audiences after the release of the first four episodes, and I am glad that they enjoyed watching me in a different avatar in this thriller series.

“`The Freelancer: The Conclusion’ will see Avinash explore more facets of his character and his actual self as he sets out to rescue Aliya. Playing Avinash was a creatively satisfying and enjoyable experience, but was equally challenging at the same time. With `The Conclusion`, we bring in some interesting twists and turns and fast-paced action that will keep the audiences glued to their seats.”

Talking about the series, Anupam Kher said, “My character Dr. Khan was extremely well received by the audiences and left a lingering impression. The impending question is how will Avinash save Aliya. With `The Freelancer: The Conclusion`, we are back to answer these queries and it`s time to blow all covers.

“I am sure that this will also be an exciting watch for the audiences. Moreover, working with Neeraj is always like homecoming and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Created by showrunner Neeraj Pandey with Bhav Dhulia as the director, `The Freelancer: The Conclusion’ will stream on Disney+ Hotstar from December 15.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever



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IFFI 2023: Prime Video wins inaugural best web series (OTT) award for `Panchayat

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Prime Video today created history by winning the maiden Best Web Series (OTT) Award for Panchayat Season 2 at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa. The award has been instituted to acknowledge and encourage India’s thriving streaming sector. A total of 32 entries across 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms were selected for the introductory Best Web Series award. The entries for the coveted award were judged by a five-member jury headed by filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. Other members of the jury included filmmakers Utpal Borpujari and Krishna DK, and actors Divya Dutta and Prosenjit Chatterjee.  

Directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra and produced by TVF’s Arunabh Kumar, Panchayat Season 2 features a highly talented ensemble cast including Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Faisal Malik, Chandan Roy, and Sanvikaa. The comedy-drama captures the journey of an urban engineering graduate Abhishek Tripathi, portrayed by Jitendra Kumar, who for the lack of a better job option, reluctantly, joins as the Secretary of a Panchayat Office in Phulera, a remote fictional village in Ballia district in Uttar Pradesh. Following a stupendous first season, the second season delves deeper into life at Phulera, as it brings new challenges for Abhishek, who has to cope with the everyday workings of the decrepit Panchayat office, deal with the local village politics and the villagers, while also trying to prepare for his CAT exams for a future in the corporate world. Peppered with slice-of-life moments and ample doses of humour, the series reflects the daily tribulations of village life, tracing Abhishek’s growing camaraderie with Pradhan, Vikas, Prahlad and Manju Devi, as newer issues crop up in the village while he diligently tries to balance it all.

“At Prime Video, our aim is to bring to life distinctive, relatable and ultimately deeply entertaining stories that reflect the rich and diverse cultures of our amazing country. These are stories from deep within India that at the same time represent universal themes and emotions, ultimately delighting audiences across the globe.” said Sushant Sreeram, Country Director, Prime Video, India. “Panchayat is one such heart-warming story set within the richness of India’s culture and traditions. The series’ win today at the first-ever Best Web Series (OTT) Award at the highly acclaimed 54th IFFI, Goa, is a testament to our dedication to curate truly immersive content for customers. IFFI and Prime Video share a common vision to promote the highly prolific Indian creative economy by providing them a platform to showcase their creative brilliance and cinematic excellence to the world. Thank you, to the jury and organizers at IFFI, we are truly honored to have received this recognition.”

“Panchayat started off as a really simple idea, a coming of age story about a young engineering graduate man who sets off to a village and joins as a Panchayat secretary. What follows is a heartwarming story about his experiences living in this simple village, dealing with people and their everyday lives. This is a show that has received immense love from audiences and critics in India and around the world and has become a part of the cultural zeitgeist. The rootedness of the story and characters have made Panchayat into a global success, as a testament to our belief at Prime Video that authentic and honest stories can transcend borders,” said Manish Menghani, Director – Content Licensing, Prime Video, India. “We are thankful to IFFI and the jury for recognizing the passion behind this remarkable and unique show, the audience for showering us with constant love and anticipation, and of course, the director, writers, the wonderful, amazing partners we have at TVF, the brilliant cast, and crew, without whom the show wouldn’t have become what it is today.”

Co-creator and Director of Panchayat, Deepak Mishra from TVF said, “A heartfelt thank you to the esteemed IFFI jury for recognizing Panchayat Season 2 with the Best Web Series (OTT) Award. It`s a genuine honor for our entire team. I am supremely grateful to Arunabh Kumar, the co-creator on this show who had the vision of bringing rural India to the screen.” He continued, “Panchayat wasn`t just a project; it was a narrative meant to reflect the intricate tapestry of India`s quintessential village life – rich in surprising complexities yet brimming with heart. Our aim was to craft a story set in rustic India, with a compelling slice-of-life narrative and a dash of humor. The exceptional talents of versatile actors like Neena Gupta, Jitendra Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, and the entire Panchayat cast made it possible to transform this simple tale of everyday occurrences in an Indian village into an award-winning series. It`s heartening to see audiences in India and across 240+ countries and territories on Prime Video appreciating the storytelling. Thank you for the global love!” 



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