By: Mohnish Singh
Bollywood star Karisma Kapoor says she went out of her comfort zone to portray the character of a cop in the upcoming drama series Brown, which was the only Indian show at the Berlin Series Market Selects platform.
Backed by Zee Studios, the noir show is based on the book City of Death by Abheek Barua and directed by Abhinay Deo of Delhi Belly fame.
Kapoor, who ruled the 90s and 2000s Hindi cinema with films like “Raja Hindustani”, “Dil To Pagal Hai”, “Raja Babu”, “Coolie No 1” and “Judwa”, said she may have played a variety of roles in her career but “Brown” was completely different from her earlier screen avatars.
“We are always constantly evolving. Now, with OTT there is a scope to portray different facets of a character. I was out of my comfort zone with this show, there are certain things that I am doing in the show, which I don’t do in real life, so I had to stretch myself. It was interesting for me to do that,” Kapoor told PTI in an interview.
“Brown” revolves around Rita Brown, an alcoholic cop, who forms an unlikely alliance with a widower with survivor’s guilt to solve the murder of a young girl.
When the makers approached the 48-year-old actor in 2021, she instantly accepted it as the show gave her the chance to explore a different facet of a woman.
“The role of Rita Brown is so different from what I have done (in the past). She is so raw, human, we all have good, bad, fantastic, flawed things within us. Besides, she goes through so many kinds of emotions, and all of that drew me to the show.
“She is dealing with a lot of things and we don’t get to see that on the screen. It was an interesting challenge to bring her about, to make her real.” To portray this character, Kapoor said she did extensive prep work for the show including learning Bengali language because the show is set in Kolkata.
“We did prep for months not just with actors but on script and location level. Besides reading the novel, I had many different kinds of coaching happening, like language and how to roll a cigarette as I am a non-smoker,” the “Zubeidaa” actor said.
“Brown” marks the actor’s second stint on OTT after 2020 “Mentalhood”, which was her comeback to acting.
Kapoor believes the portrayal of women characters has constantly evolved over the years and added that the streaming platforms have only made things better by offering strong protagonists to female actors. “Every generation in cinema has great roles for women. And we are constantly evolving. I am also lucky to have been part of films like ‘Zubeidaa’ and ‘Fiza’. I wish there would be more but that’s the way it is. Maybe OTT gives more space for the strong female protagonist today,” she added.
“Brown” was part of Berlin Series Market Selects 2023-the only Indian web show in the film market at the Berlin International Film Festival. The Berlinale Series Market included a total of 16 titles from five continents.
With the series going to the prestigious film festival, Kapoor said, she is excited and humbled by the recognition for an Indian show.
“Also, it is wonderful to see the lines are blurring today and our Indian cinema and shows are being noticed and appreciated. All the hard work has paid off that today an international audience is getting to see now, it is very heart-warming,” she added.
“Brown” also features veteran actor Helen, making her comeback, Soni Razdan, Surya Sharma, and K K Raina, among others.