After word of Mira Nair directing a series on Vikram Seth’s bestselling novel, A Suitable Boy, got out, Bollywood actors were intrigued about who would form the primary cast of the BBC-Netflix series. In the latest development, it has been learnt that the filmmaker was in Mumbai last week to scout for actors for the screen adaptation. Sources suggest that Nair met Radhika Apte, Richa Chadha and Shefali Shah. Tabu, who previously collaborated with her on The Namesake (2006), is also said to be in talks with the auteur.

With nearly 199 artistes to be cast for the eight-hour-long series, Nair’s focus during this trip was to find screen versions of Lata and Rupa Mehra — Seth’s celebrated novel revolves around Rupa’s efforts to get her younger daughter, Lata, married.

A source reveals, “Mira met Radhika, Richa and some actresses from regional cinema. They were casual meetings, and not auditions per se. Mira is quite instinctive and can gauge easily if a certain actor fits the bill. She also had a chat with Tabu about the project. The author has been specific in his sketch of Lata Mehra — her character is shown as the right mix of rebellious and subservient. As per the original text, it is mentioned that she is of dusky complexion. Mira wants to stay honest to the source material as much as possible.”

The casting responsibilities have been divided among Dilip Shankar, Nandini Shrikent and Karan Mally. “The casting agents are bound by non-disclosure agreements, as will the actors who will be eventually brought on board. A final announcement will be made once the show’s cast is locked, ” says the source. With Nair hoping to take the series on floors later this year, the agents have been given a deadline of August to finalise the cast.