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Charlie Hunnam’s ‘dream month’ in India, where he fell in love with its food and culture.

Irish Mirror

In an interview conducted with one participant at a time, Shantaram actor Charlie Hunnam with Shubham Saraf discussed their thoughts about the process of immigrating to India.

Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts’s most-popular book, has been talked about for film and TV adaptations for years. Ultimately, an episodic retelling, starring Charlie Hunnam, will be released on AppleTV+ next year. A convict who flees to India takes on the complicated role of Lin, the actor best known for appearing in Sons of Anarchy.

He discussed his connection to India while filming Shantaram and his experience of spending time in the country after the show aired in a roundtable interview with Charlie Hunnam and Shubham Saraf. Due to the fact that much of the shooting for Shantaram took place during the pandemic, the show could not be shot there, despite its peculiar setting of early 1980s Bombay. In terms of Hunnam, he says Gregory David Robert’s writing was the first connection he had to the country.

india’s most exciting exposure
According to Charlie Hunnam, Shantaram exposed him to India “deeply” and most excitingly. Talking about how he felt after reading the book, the actor said, “In the last 15 years my deepest exposure or most exciting exposure to India was actually through reading Shantaram about seven-eight years ago and then I became obsessed with the book, obsessed with the idea of being a part of the creative team to be able to bring it to life.” Charlie is not only the lead actor but also a producer on the upcoming show.

Indulging in a ‘dream month’ in India
Before taking on the role of Lin who finds himself enchanted by the sights and sounds of India after he escapes from Australia and throws himself into the chaotic mass of humanity, Kieran H. Hunnam revealed how he visited the country first hand. The actor said, “My partner and I went to India and had just a dream month there where we showed up and only had a hotel room for the first night in Mumbai and then we just wanted to be footloose and fancy-free and go wherever and see whatever India wanted t show us. It was really like an amazing trip and I fell madly in love with the people, the geography, with the culture, the food, everything. So, I was really upset that we weren’t able to shoot in India.”
The show was primarily shot in Thailand, but Hunnam acknowledged that parts were shot in Bhopal, Mumbai, and Indore. As well as wishing to return to India, the actor said it was the spread of the Delta virus variant at the time that prevented them from returning. But, as if his experience living in India isn’t rich enough, he further notes how spending time there helped him say, I’m grateful that I got to spend that time there, getting a sense of my own relationship with the country, so that I wasn’t just a foreigner show up pretending to know what’s going on.

While a new Apple series is currently in production and expected to be released soon, talks from the past also stated that Johnny Depp might take on the project from 2007. A film based on the book was to be made, starring Johnny Depp and veteran Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan with Mira Nair in the director’s chair. However, the film was put on hold and eventually shelved.

As for Charlie Hunnam’s show in production, the series is titled ‘Poka Makunsah and stars Shubham Saraf as Prabhu, Antonia Desplat as Karla, Alexander Siddig as Khader Khan and Elektra Kilbe as Lisa Carter, among others. It has been created by Eric Warren Singer and Steve Lightfoot and has been directed by Justin Kurzel and Bharat Nalluri. Shantaram debuts its first season on October 14 with twelve episodes, but there are currently no plans for more episodes of the show. The first three episodes of Shantaram will be premiering on October 14 on AppleTV+.

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