In the bygone era of Indian society marriages were treated as a holy bond and union of two souls. Marriage was a sacrament and the union eternal. Come back to the contemporary and the modern world, the concept of marriage has transformed, it is a contract, it is everything but holy. Marriage is a celebration, it’s a show, it is big, it is fat, and a lavish affair the execution of which requires detailed planning from months in advance until the D day
Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur) and Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) are two wedding planners in Delhi running a marriage agency named Made in Heaven where tradition meets modern aspirations. Made In Heaven is a 9 episodes Amazon Prime web series which released on 8th March 2019. Made In Heaven is written by Vivek Anchalia and directed by Nitya Mehra, Zoya Akhtar, Prashant Nair and Alankrita Shrivastava. The series chronicles the lives of the two main protagonists, Karan and Tara, as they take on the weddings to show the events as pristine and pure, despite reservations because of the ugly stories behind the scenes. They have their personal lives and consistent struggles out of which they want to come out so bad that they have to keep the business afloat, and at the same time want to help others live a promised live through their marriage agency. Made In Heaven in its various episodes has multitudes of casts- some mains, some recurring and others as cameos and guests. The top of the line casts in the series are Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Shashank Arora, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Ivan Rodrigues, Natasha Singh, Zachary Coffin, Vinay Pathak, Dilip Tahil, Vijay Raaz, Suchitra Pillai, Hrishitaa Sharma, etc. We had our chance to speak to a new talent and debutant Yaaneea Bharadwaj. She is the star of episode #5 “A Marriage of Convenience” directed by Prashant Nair.
Prashant Nair is an actor’s director and very well understands the actor’s genre
Sukhmani Sadana (Yaaneea Bharadwaj) is an extrovert, a jolly and bubbly character full of life who hails from Ludhiana, Punjab and her dream is to go to the USA. She wins a contest that will determine who marries Jeet Gill, a wealthy NRI. Post marriage the truth of Jeet is revealed that he is impotent, but the lure of an American life as an American wife is a big deal for this girl from a small town and she can’t let it go. The story has its parallels with how Yaaneea was finalized for the project after four rounds of auditions, except that she is quiet by nature and runs through all the human emotions, unlike Sukhmani. Sukhmani is inspired by Bollywood and its glam as it shows in the way she does her make-ups and wears her clothes. Yaaneea, on the other hand, is the opposite off camera. Born and brought up in the hilly state Himachal, she likes to live a simple life. She is continuously learning and practicing her skills. “When I am not acting, I keep myself busy by joining some or the other workshops related to acting. I am also currently writing a book.”
Yaaneea moved to Mumbai about a year and a half ago in search of opportunities in the reel world. She has been a theatre artist, does modeling and TVCs. Have you seen her Flamingo ad with Hrithik Roshan.
We have not seen nor heard of any female actor doing nunchucks on Indian TV, and yes she has learnt the basics of Kalaripayattu. She follows method acting and her typical genres are thriller, action and the likes. Wondering how did this romance drama Made in Heaven happen to her which is an altogether different genre? “I received a call from the casting director Nandini Shrikent’s team just few days prior to the shoot. I was one of the many other aspirants who also auditioned for the role of Sukhmani.” Once finalized for the role, she had just two days of workshop and lost no time to get into the skin of the character. She watched Punjabi films to self-learn the language, accent, behavior, etc. and it all came naturally as she kept improvising herself.
Made in Heaven is highly rated on all the major entertainment platforms and with this super success, the making of the season 2 of the series is already confirmed, but we are yet to know if Yaaneea is in it or not. She, however, is waiting for one film which is just around the corner (no further details were given). She has also just finished shooting for another film in which she is the main protagonist. A character aged 20 years who is fighting with nature, is different, is sad and has nobody to talk to. As a new face in the industry, we were keen to know of Yaaneea’s struggles here and her thoughts on nepotism. She is of the opinion that whilst the existence of nepotism is a truth, the larger impact is that it leaves lesser opportunity for newcomers with real talent. And with every chance (if they ever get) one has to prove themselves with additional skill sets or else there is the consistent risk of losing the project. The level of competition is way too high for any available opportunity.
The next question was about her experience working with the big names and directors in the industry. She said- “It was my first and my episode was directed by Prashant Sir, it was such a great experience. Prashant Nair is an actor’s director and very well understands the actor’s genre. He is very encouraging and won’t mind re-takes to bring out the best from an actor. He would suggest alternate ways and options to execute a scene.”
On a personal front, Yaaneea Bharadwaj loves Physics and had an ambition to become an astronaut. She is a born writer and can write contents in any given scenario and situation, but her type of writings will be based on science which she merges with her spiritual knowledge. She believes in preserving the planet earth. She is currently writing a book based on her knowledge of physics. A big fan of Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and the likes she wonders when will series and films like Interstellar, Seven, Sicario, Salvation (series) etc will happen in our country. Such films and series have huge casts and opportunities for talents having background in diverse genres and yet all are treated equally. Filmmakers ought to experiment but as it is not happening the way it should have happened, actors are restricted to doing the same kind of genre and work on an on. We see the birth of an idea from a girl who loves to be alone.