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Representation To Marriage: The ‘Made In Heaven’ Cast Gets Real

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Vrutika Shah

Made In Heaven season two released on Amazon Prime Video earlier this week, perfectly in time to be binge-watched over the long weekend. This much-awaited second serving of the popular drama series, created by the acclaimed duo of Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, came four years after the first time we met wedding planners, Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur). The story picks up right where it left off, with former cast members like Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Shashank Arora, Vijay Raza and Shivani Raghuvanshi set to reprise their roles.

L-R Indian film actors Shashank Arora, Arjun Mathur, Sobhita©GettyImages

Meanwhile, a plethora of new cast members and cameos had audiences gasping (we’re looking at you, Sabya) at the likes of Mona Singh, Radhika Apte, Mrunal Thakur, Shibani Dandekar, Trinetra Haldar and Sanjay Kapoor to name a few.

As the new season starts taking over your timeline and conversations, we caught up with Jim Sarbh and Arjun Mathur in an exclusive chat where the duo spoke not only about their favourite episodes from season one and two, but also the importance of representation and their thoughts on relationships and marriage. Below, an excerpt from the conversation…

Jim Sarbh and Arjun Mathur talk about Made In Heaven 

HELLO!: The first season of Made in Heaven questioned so many societal norms. What is one such topic that struck a chord with you the most and which was your favourite episode?

Jim Sarbh: “I very fondly remember the one featuring Deepti Naval, because it follows an older couple’s love story. They’re finding a connection after a while, they convince their kids to come, it’s about the acceptance that your life doesn’t end at some point where you can’t have love anymore.

It’s funny, when people ask, ‘did you think this was risky?’, I just feel like saying, I don’t know, I think these things should be very obviously accepted. But that’s just me. When I realise something is causing a stir, I understand oh, everyone is at different places in their understanding and acceptance of these things, so I guess it’s important to represent it and showcase it, and have it be questioned.”

Arjun Mathur: “Episode three for me as well, it was really beautiful. But, I also loved the fourth one, the dowry episode featuring Shweta Tripathi. It was a real turning point for the show, because, up until then, it was still relatively lighter. From there, things kicked into a different gear. So, yeah, I guess those two have stayed with me.”

H!: Coming to season two, which new guest star did you enjoy working with the most and which episode takes the cake for your personal favourite? 

AM: “I really enjoyed working with Mona Singh a lot. As an actor, as a human, I think she’s a great energy to have on set, she’s really positive. Favourite episode, shoot wise, was episode four because that’s the one we shot in France and it was just so much fun.”

JS: “Yeah, I wasn’t at any of the weddings. My track is completely different, I didn’t act that much with anyone new, I had one or two scenes with the new addition… but I don’t want to give away any spoilers (laughs). There’s only one real new addition in my life and I have some scenes with that human, person [chuckles]. I haven’t watched episode six and seven yet and there is certain drama and flair about each character, but one that dropped in for just one episode and took me in a variety of places, predominantly humourously, was Elnaaz [Norouzi] as a bride in the fourth episode. She was very fun to watch! [Arjun agrees].”


H!: In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, earlier this year, Jim, you shared, “When I pick a script, I make sure my part has enough complexity, so it’ll be fun for me to act. They become me as I play them. They become a mix of what’s in the pages and who I am.” So, what pulled you towards Adil Khanna and what part of you do we see in this role?

JS: “I did say those things [coyly]. But, it’s not necessary that you are drawn to certain characters so much as what you are asked to be a part of. I just remember reading the script and wanting to be a part of the show one way or another. As far as Adil goes, of course, all characters wind up being a mixture of you plus the script, because those are the two things you can draw from, and also suggestions from the director. But those directions also go through the filter of your experience or your ability to gain from that. A person can say the wisest thing on earth, but if you can’t understand then that’s that.

What do I connect with Adil or I think has me in it? It’s just about turning the volume on things that I otherwise may relax a little bit in life upon, because you don’t want to be snapped at or talked to so bluntly.

For example, there’s a scene where Faiza is giving Adil some really good advice, but before she has even completed her sentence, he shuts her up and is unapologetic about it. Similarly, there are the parts in me that can be sharp, dismissive, feel superior, are confident and can be boorish. But also, I take some amount of pleasure in creating a character that looks like those things and is also funny.”

Entertainment India - August 2023©GettyImages

 H!: Given that you’ve ‘exposed’ the reality of weddings and marriages, what do you think of the concept personally? What is an ideal marriage/relationship to you and do you believe in a “happy every, after”? 

JS: “There is no ideal. Different people want different things, different people need different things, different people seek out different things. I believe it would be very childish to assume you could ever know about another person’s private relationship. You can never know what goes on behind closed doors, you don’t know what the equation is really like. You can at best guess, at worst assume. So I don’t think I believe in an ideal match. Of course, ideally you’d want communication, freedom, love and care and attention and all of those things. But those things come and go, depending on what’s going on in life. But I think I do believe in the idea of an ‘happily ever, after’. I’m always tempted to think that you know, if it happens, it happens. But, on the other hand, you really see people do that thing where they really grow old together, support each other, love each other more and understand each other better every day. That’s amazing. That rarely happens, but even if it’s not consistent, it’s happening in one way or the other, even in relationships that outwardly don’t look happy.”

AM: “I’d say, I used to be a hopeless romantic, but I’m not anymore [laughs]. I mean, I still do believe in the idea of love and romance, but I don’t think my approach is so hopeless anymore, [laughs] I definitely have more hope now.”

H!: Arjun, your character meant so much to the LGBTQ+ community in our country. How did you manage to depict Karan in such a non-problematic manner? 

AM: “Karan isn’t the first time I’ve played a homosexual character, it was the third time. In each of these three times, it really depends on how the filmmaker is planning to show it and what their sensibility is. Thankfully, my experiences were with Onir, Mira Nair, and Zoya and Reema. And I think there’s just something to be said there. I think there’s just a kind of filmmaker who chooses to show it a certain way, and some who will simply not. And it’s not a gamble for me in any way, it’s a very conscious decision that these are the filmmakers I will trust with this, and these are the ones I will not. So, honestly, I really didn’t have to do anything much.”

British Indian actor, Arjun Mathur poses for a photo after©GettyImages

 JS: “It’s just how it goes with these things. At one point, women characters were written unidimensional, a certain community is used for humour or is villainised, and nine times out of 10, all it means is that the filmmaker doesn’t have any experience in dealing with the community. Because if they did, they would know that it’s way more complicated than it looks like from the outside. And, of course, everyone has a full life. I’m always thinking about this, that I’m sitting in this apartment thinking I’m the king of the universe. But what we don’t realise is we are more similar than we think—my upstairs neighbour is sitting in an apartment exactly like mine and probably thinking the same thing.”

The second season of Made In Heaven is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.