22 years after her appearance as Elizabeth in Lagaan, which starred Aamir Khan in the lead role, actress Rachel Shelley is returning with the Indian production Kohrra. She essays a pivotal role in the series whose trailer was dropped on Thursday. Kohrra is an exploration of human nature, depicting the darkness within, where the search for justice becomes intertwined with the politics of interpersonal relationships. Brought to life by a critically acclaimed cast including Suvinder Vicky, Barun Sobti, Varun Badola, Harleen Sethi, Rachel Shelly, and Manish Chaudhary and helmed by Sudip Sharma, Randeep Jha, and Clean Slate Filmz Productions, the series promises an authentic narrative that goes beyond the age-old police investigation-led storylines.
Lagaan actress Rachel Shelley returns to Indian production after 22 years with Barun Sobti – Suvinder Vicky starrer Kohrra
Talking about getting Shelley onboard for the series, director Sudip Sharma told Indian Express, “The casting of Rachel came from a bit of practicality. I knew I wanted an actor from the UK for the part and didn’t want to hire a ‘white actor working in Mumbai’ just because it makes things easy.”
He added, “Shooting a web series is tough, we don’t have the kind of budgets that are there for films and a professional white actor, who has done good work over there, they would find it very tough to shoot here, the chaos that’s here. So, part of the reason to hire her was because she had done Lagaan, she knew what madness could be like. Apart from that, she is also a great actor and I had seen a bunch of her other work in the West. So, it was almost like a jigsaw puzzle when you are doing your casting. So much of it is gut and then of course your casting director (Nikita Grover), who will keep pushing the boundary.”
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Speaking about the efforts put in by Nikita Grover, Sharma added, “She had also done the casting of Pataal Lok, acted in it, and has done casting for season two as well. She has in fact also acted in Kohrra. She understands the world we are trying to create, and it is always about going out there and finding those actors. She spent a good amount of time in Punjab, going to these pinds and kasbas to find these very real actors from there. People who have never acted before or those who have only done theatre, and Punjab has a very vibrant theatre scene. She really tapped into it,” he said.
Kohrra follows the death of an NRI (Non-Resident Indians) and the impact of grief, mutual suspicion and hidden secrets of the characters involved in the drama. Set in the heartland of Punjab and steeped in suspense, this new series follows dual storylines of hunting down a killer and navigating love and relationships. The crime investigation series arrives on Netflix on July 15, 2023.
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