There’s no stopping Samantha! The actress has now signed an international film based on the novel Arrangements of Love by Timeri N. Murari. Sam plays a progressive bisexual Tamil woman who runs a detective agency. BAFTA-winning Welsh director Philip John will wield the baton for the film, which is being bankrolled by Sunitha Tati.
“I am excited to work with Philip John, and I am a big fan of Downton Abbey series (also directed by John),” says Samantha.
“This project will open a whole new world as I start this journey with Arrangements of Love,” She says her role will be exciting and challenging too. Sunitha, who had worked with Samantha in the 2019 film Oh Baby, says she always had the actress in mind for the role.
“I needed a performer from the South who can pull this off. I was wondering whether she would agree to do the film, given the high acclaim she won for The Family Man. However, when I narrated the story to her, she was curious to know more about her character arc and layers of the plot,” Sunitha shares.
When she met John in Chennai recently for a detailed narration, Samantha was very excited about the nuances of her role and the preparation that was required, the filmmaker reveals.
“Sam was very keen to thoroughly understand her role. She did a lot of homework. John was impressed with her prep and was glad to have someone like her on board,” says Sunitha, adding that the director was keen to have an actor from the south, who was fluent in Tamil, for the part.
When we ask Sunitha why she zeroed in on Philip John and not an Indian filmmaker, she says that the story is that of a person who sees India for the first time in his life.
“Someone who grew up in another country can see India in that perspective and romanticise our culture, which an Indian director would not have been able to achieve,” she explains. Sunitha also reveals that she’s tweaking the novel for the onscreen adaptation. “The film will be made in English and Tamil, so we are tweaking it a bit to suit the different sensibilities without diluting the essence of the plot; we are trying to make the story appeal to an international audience," she says.
The filmmakers are now looking for a male lead who, as per the script, hails from the UK. “Auditions are currently going on, and we are also looking for a south Indian actor to play the hero’s father, another important character,” Sunitha adds.