For Hilary Duff, who works with Indian actor Suraj Sharma in her latest show, how i met your fathergave him the opportunity to learn all about the rich Indian culture and its vibrancy.
“Being friends with Suraj opened our eyes [to Indian culture] a lot. I never had the privilege of going to India. But [after interacting with Sharma] I am very intrigued to visit the country now,” Duff tells us in an exclusive interview.
The 34-year-old, who won acclaim about two decades ago as Lizzie McGuire more than two decades ago, is happy that Sharma was able to bring a different level of vibrancy and energy to the whole of his show, broadcast in India on Disney+ Hotstar.
“I see that in Suraj showing up for work every day. He’s the one dancing in the trailer, pumping us all up when it’s 6:30 in the morning. He’s always the glass half full when I’m not always like that. It really is a breath of fresh air. And if it’s a representation of Indian culture and Indian people, then sign me up,” the actor says.
The actor continues: “I am very fascinated by culture. It just seems like people have their hearts wide open and there’s a lot of acceptance. People like to have a good time. It’s colorful, there’s food and parties and celebrations. It seems that Indian culture really celebrates life.
Her show, which is a spinoff of the iconic sitcom How I Met Your Mother, has created quite a buzz for featuring a diverse cast. Besides Duff and Sharma, it features actors Christopher Lowell, Francia Raisa, Tom Ainsley and Tien Tran.
“Our show is a true representation of the way people act today, the way people are. It’s taken a long time, but it’s just a lot more inclusive (because we) explore different sexualities and different races. It’s nice to have a much more realistic image. But honestly, we don’t even really think about it,” says Duff, who is also the project’s executive producer.
She claims that having a diverse cast was not something forced but came naturally to the team.
“We try to be thoughtful and authentic. One of my favorite things is Tien’s queer persona, and we’re not dealing with his coming-out story. But the fact that she just got divorced and moved to a new place. These are his fights. Hopefully we’ll continue to move in that direction and explore all kinds of fun stories with different characters on the show, exploring God knows what,” she concludes.