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Sameer Nair: We aren’t trying to copy, or be better

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In the past few months, producer Sameer Nair has often been asked why he chose to make Tanaav when its source material, the popular Israeli series Fauda, is available to stream in India. His reason is simple — he wanted to take an important story to a wider audience. “Often, people ask us, ‘What about those who have seen Fauda?’ I tell them, ‘If you don’t want to, don’t watch Tanaav.’ You don’t have to see it, and then make comparisons. That’s not the reason why we made it. In India, only the upper-class audience has watched international shows. Reimagination [allows us] to take it to a wider audience. We aren’t trying to copy, or be better,” begins Nair, whose Applause Entertainment has backed the political thriller starring Manav Vij, Arbaaz Khan, Rajat Kapoor and Ekta Kaul.  

Fauda

The journey of Tanaav began three years ago when Nair’s production house initiated a conversation with Yes Studios that backed Fauda. It was decided that Nair and his team would prepare a presentation about their vision to adapt Lior Riaz and Avi Issacharoff’s story in the Indian setting. While the original explored the Israel-Palestine dispute, the SonyLIV offering focuses on the conflict between state-run Special Task Group (STG) and militants in Kashmir. “The beauty of formats is that a story can get a new life and identity,” says Sharon Levi, managing director, Yes Studios. She adds that Fauda on Netflix India only serves as a promotional tool for Tanaav rather than competition.

Also Read: Sensitivity over sensationalism

Sameer Nair

The makers of Tanaav had to not only tell a distinct story, but also address the volatile geo-politics of Kashmir accurately. Nair assures that they have been mindful. “Sudhir [Mishra, director] and I had numerous discussions about this. There’s nothing to be offended about. We have made the show thoughtfully and sensitively,” he states.



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Nithya Menen speaks about `Breathe: Into the Shadows` (Season 2)

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While most of the cast members have been vocal about their character building in Amazon Original Series Breathe: Into the Shadows Season 2, Nithya Menen, who reprises her role as Abha Sabharwal, shares her view and reaction on the second instalment of the franchise. Nithya Menon who plays the role of Abha Sabharwal in the series says, “Firstly, I feel lucky to have been a part of the Breathe franchise and work with immensely talented people on set. I have been a part of the team for a few years now and the first instalment of Breathe: Into the Shadows was a special experience undoubtedly. Audiences from across the globe showered immense love and appreciation, but while we were soaking it all in, the pressure of making the sequel even better was something that had all our focus on because, with good content comes great responsibility.”

Also Read: Shooting in real locations makes actors look believable, says Randeep Hooda

“In season 2 every character has evolved beautifully, adding to the mysteries and suspense that kept the audiences hooked to the series. I thank Mayank Sharma for making my character Abha Sabharwal so impactful that even after 2 years my character is being recognized and lauded by the audience. This season witnesses Abha being engulfed in mind games as she tries to untangle the threatening mystery set up in the series and to keep her family safe,” Nithya further added.

Also Read: Karan Tacker opens up on being cast in Neeraj Pandey`s `Khakee`

Produced by Abundantia Entertainment, the eight-episode original series is directed by Mayank Sharma who has also co-written season 2 alongside Arshad Syed, Vikram Tuli, Priya Saggi, and Abhijeet Deshpande. The psychological crime thriller returned after two years with Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Nithya Menen, Saiyami Kher, and Ivana Kaur reprising their roles, while Naveen Kasturia joined the team as Victor in Season 2. 



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Shooting in real locations makes actors look believable, says Randeep Hooda

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Actor Randeep Hooda, who is known for lending authenticity to his roles be it in `Sarbjit` or `Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster`, is currently gearing up for his next streaming series titled `CAT`. The series, according to its creator and showrunner Balwinder Singh Janjua, has been entirely shot in real locations in Punjab. Randeep says shooting in real locations “immensely” helps actors to make their performance believable.

Also Read: Music first, trailer later: Promo blueprint for SRK-starrer `Pathaan`

Elaborating on the same, the actor tells IANS: “Shooting in real locations enhances the performance because you spend the majority of time in the universe where your content is set. “Going to sets for the shoot, being there in the moment or coming back from the shoot, you are surrounded by a certain geography, the climate, the cultural setting of the people, the local language or the diction people use there — all these things help you to get into a space and focus your thoughts inline with the traits of your character.”

Also Read: Karan Tacker opens up on being cast in Neeraj Pandey`s `Khakee`

`Cat` is a crime thriller set against the backdrop of the Punjab hinterlands and tells the story of an innocent man, who is thrown into a deep, drug trafficking conspiracy between gang lords, cops and political powers. The actor further adds, “Like for `Cat` too, a lot of local actors have been cast in supporting roles. It`s so interesting to jam with those actors on the screen and to feed off their energy. It greatly helped me to get a better understanding of my character in the series.”

`Cat` lands on Netflix on December 9.

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Befriending Bebo

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Despite the acclaim that he has received for his acting stints in shows like Pataal Lok and Bard of Blood, Jaideep Ahlawat, like any other cinephile, recalls being apprehensive about his first interaction with Kareena Kapoor Khan. Given that Kapoor is “such a big star”, he set foot on the sets of The Devotion of Suspects X adaptation with the belief that building a bond with her would require a fair share of effort. “She ended the sense of awkwardness within five minutes,” recalls the actor, stating that Kapoor would encourage him to read lines with her to break the ice, while working on Sujoy Ghosh’s directorial venture.

Also Read: Kiara Advani to announce her wedding with Sidharth Malhotra on December 2?

The yet-untitled Netflix film, which marks Kapoor’s streaming debut, is an adaptation of Japanese author Higashino Keigo’s bestselling 2005 novel, and follows Kapoor as a single mother, who, along with her daughter, commits a crime.

Kapoor’s dedication to her craft, he says, is evident in the questions that she asks her directors. “She is committed, and would come prepared with her lines. She would ask [Sujoy] why certain dialogues were being included in the script. She would voice her suggestions if she felt that she could emote certain scenes better in the absence of dialogues. She is an actor who constantly thinks about her character.” 

Also Read: Sri Lankan singer Yohani opens up on the challenges of shooting in India



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