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I’m mindful of treating characters as people, says ‘Dil Dosti Dilemma’ director Debbie Rao

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MUMBAI, April 22: It’s important to be true to the story and treat characters like human beings, says director Debbie Rao, whose upcoming project is the young adult series “Dil Dosti Dilemma”.
An adaptation of author Andaleeb Wajid’s 2016 book “Asmara’s Summer”, the Bengaluru-set show follows Asmara, a popular, witty, and charming young girl, whose summer takes an unexpected turn when she is sent to her grandparents’ neighbourhood as punishment.

Rao, best known for directing “Pushpavalli” starring Sumukhi Suresh and the Indian adaptation of the popular UK mockumentary “The Office”, described Wajid’s novel as a simple story with a lot of complexities.

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“In the book-to-screen adaptation process, what we looked at mostly was not making it a unidimensional story… So, everyone has their own interesting arcs, relatable, authentic problems. I wanted to make a show that people can get immersed in the characters and not start questioning life and humanity… It’s a clean, beautiful show that is wholesome and that I hope every family enjoys watching.

“Sometimes your message, story and the earnestness with which you are trying to tell the story gets lost because of some tiny little deviation that someone has caught on to… It’s important to be true to the characters and story… Every character is a human being, and the choices they are making are as human beings. (I was) Very mindful of the fact that I treat the characters as people,” the director told PTI in an interview here.

Actress Anushka Sen plays the lead role of Asmara in “Dil Dosti Dilemma”, which also stars Kush Jotwani, Tanvi Azmi, Shishir Sharma, Suhasini Mulay, and Revathi Pillai.

Rao said she is glad there was no social media when she was a teenager.

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“I make so many of the same mistakes that the youth make. Youth make the same mistakes that I made. I sometimes thank my stars (that) I’m not a teenager right now, because I think the pressure of social media, your peers, image perception, all of that is so much more now. I can’t imagine being in school with a cell phone or like being on social media. It breaks my brain to think about it…” she added.

“Dil Dosti Dilemma” also features Elisha Mayor and Vishakha Pandey in pivotal roles.

It is produced by Ten Years Younger Productions and written by Anuradha Tiwari, Bugs Bhargava Krishna, Raghav Dutt and Manjari Pupala. Seema Mohapatra and Jahanara Bhargava serve as creative producers. The series will premiere on April 25 on Prime Video, with dubs available in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. (PTI)

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