Purva Bedi Cast as Lead in “When Kiran Met Karen”

Purva Bedi You
may have already heard of the upcoming film When Kiran Met Karen
because of its controversial subject – an Indian-American actress in New
York falls in love with her female co-star while shooting a film in which she
plays a lesbian – and because of who’s playing the lead. Or rather, who’s not
playing it.

Bollywood actress
Perizaad Zorabian made international headlines in July when she turned down
the role due to her “own personal inhibitions about playing a lesbian”, even
as she acknowledged, “Kiran is a fantastic role for any actor who has the courage
to think with an open mind.”

There has been
much anticipation since then over who would take the lead. Now, in an exclusive
interview with AfterEllen.com, director Manan Katohora reveals that the film’s
star will be Indian-American actress Purva Bedi (American Desi, Green Card
Fever
).

In an interview
with Bedi this week, she told us, “The other actress, Perizaad Zorabian, who
is a lovely, lovely person and a lovely actress — she’s coming from Bollywood,
and there is not a single actress … living in India … who cares about her career
there who could play this part.” Bedi added with a laugh, “’Cause I know that
the director met with people and talked to people there and everyone — you know,
the second they even read the synopsis were like, ‘sorry.’”

But Bedi herself,
who has built her acting career in the United States, does not feel the same
stigma that Zorabian did. “That’s one of the reasons I really want to do the
movie … ’cause you know that once the movie’s made, everyone in India
‘s going to watch it,” Bedi said. “I want to make this movie so that actresses
there can start to play those parts and not be so scared of it.”

Unlike Katohora’s
previous film, Arya, which was a straight-to-DVD thriller, When
Kiran Met Karen
is targeted toward a “global audience … and will be a
theatrical release worldwide,” said Katohora in an email. “I have started the
dialogue with several Asian distributors back home and some niche distributors
here in North America.” The film is co-written by Sumita Sheth (executive editor
of egothemag.com and DesiLit magazine) and Katohora, who also directs
the film.

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