Veteran actor Revathy says the premise of two opinionated women, who happen to be mother and daughter, immediately made her board the anthology series Modern Love Hyderabad, which she believes presents the relationship between the protagonists in a “real” way.
Revathy co-stars with Nithya Menen in the episode titled My Unlikely Pandemic Dream Partner in the Telugu version of the Prime Video show, based on The New York Times’ column.
“I connected with the story immediately because mothers and daughters are very rarely portrayed as real, like the kind of mothers and daughters we all are. Two strong, opinionated women and they happened to be mother and daughter,” the 55-year-old actor told PTI in a Zoom interview.
What also added to the charm of the anthology series for Revathy was co-starring with Menen and being directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, known for films such as Iqbal and Dor.
“It started with Nagesh connecting with me with regards to a film and he said he was making Modern Love Hyderabad. I had watched the original ‘Modern Love’ and liked some of them very much. For this one, I really loved the reality with which he had put the whole script together.
“Nithya and I had been trying to work together but somehow things would just not work and then when this happened, it just happened,” she added.
Menen, who also enjoyed watching the first season of Modern Love, said she wanted to do an anthology as the original series was not just about simple love stories.
“I remember thinking I want to do something like this. So, when this happened, I was like ‘Yay! Finally the franchise is coming here.’ The fact that my film was with Nagesh and Revathy ma’am, very Hyderabadi, and it had an element of indie filmmaking to it… all of that came together really well for this,” the 34-year-old said.
Working with Kukunoor, who also serves as the showrunner, was an enjoyable experience for the actor duo, they said.
“The kind of films Nagesh has made, the films he believes in, he continues to do. That is his strong point. He has kept the spirit of that filmmaker alive. That is what is really great about people like him,” added Revathy.
As someone who tends to gravitate towards filmmaking that is “not very mainstream”, Menen said having Kukunoor as the director was an ideal situation for her.
“There is a difference when we work on independent films, like there is no ego or problems. Everybody is friends and everybody is very collaborative. Whether it’s Revathy ma’am, me, Nagesh, Elahe (Hiptoola), who produced the film, we all kind of have a similar work ethic. When we get together, we really not just make something fun and nice but we really enjoy doing that,” she said.
In February, Prime Video announced that the streamer will adapt its hit international series “Modern Love” in three Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Almost every short in the Hindi version titled Modern Love Mumbai, which premiered in May, was directly or indirectly connected to food.
“My Unlikely Pandemic Dream Partner” also puts food, this time Hyderabadi cuisine, front and centre.
According to Menen, since Hyderabad extends “a strong cultural influence in terms of food”, it was bound to seep into the series.
“This was perfect because Revathi ma’am’s character is such a good cook and it’s old Hyderabadi cuisine. We got to see all of that and eat all of that as well,” she added.
For Revathy, food is one of the most important factors in our lives.
“We don’t generally talk about it, but when we are denied it is when you realise about it… Hyderabadi cuisine is one of the most talked about cuisines. It is a specific kind of cuisine with a specific way of cooking. I am not a foodie but I love good food. (On the set), we all sat and ate all the fabulous food, except Nagesh who always ate sandwiches,” she quipped.
Kukunoor has also directed two shorts — Fuzzy Purple and Full of Thorns and Why Did She Leave Me There…? — in Modern Love Hyderabad, which premiered Friday.
Other three shorts in the anthology series are What Clown Wrote This Script by Uday Gurrala, Devika Bahudhanam’s About That Rustle in the Bushes and Finding Your Penguin by Venkatesh Maha.