Interview with cast of Uyire on ZEE5: Sparking real conversations on love and marriage

Actors of Uyire spoke to us about the show and what they hope new audiences will take away from it.
Interview with cast of Uyire on ZEE5: Sparking real conversations on love and marriage
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ZEE5’s Uyire - Ties That Bind, a web series that is available for free streaming on the app and website, is a Tamil family drama. The 54-episode show that gained a massive response in Singapore at the time of its release almost a year ago, is hopeful of recreating the same magic with the Indian Tamil audience. You can watch it here.

The core characters in the show are Raghavan - a retired army official, Charu - his wife, Keerthy - their eldest daughter who is married and the mother of a teenage girl, Priyanka - the sweet middle daughter who is newly engaged, and Bhumika - the youngest daughter who is a feisty aspiring fashion designer.

The actors spoke to us about the show and what they hope new audiences will take away from it.

“A surprising family drama”

Speaking about her hopes for how the central family dynamics of the show will connect with audiences, actor Indra, who plays the role of Keerthy, said, “Usually family dramas will have some amount of predictability to them but with Uyire, the audience get to sink their teeth into a surprising version of a family drama. They may not always be able to anticipate what might come next.”

The complex ties among the three sisters form the focal point of Uyire but the show explores more than just sisterhood. From familial bonds to relationships and love affairs, the show’s cast believes it has a lot to offer, especially for the young. “The show will be relatable for all, from school students to older couples,” says actor Thavanesan who plays the character of Nishok, a model.

“Complicated characters with real flaws”

It takes only a short watch of even the first episode of Uyire to realise that the writers of this show did not shy away from writing flawed characters. It is this, in particular, that makes it so easy to become invested in them.

For example, you see Keerthy deal with marital problems of her own thanks to the financial irresponsibility of her husband. At the same time, she’s handling the marital problems of her parents - whose marriage is crumbling because of a secret her father has carried for a long time. And she’s also a mother to a daughter who is struggling with self-esteem issues and problems at school. Keerthy is barely holding it together, and while watching her, all you want is to find out that somehow at the end of all this, she comes out on top.

Indra touches upon this: “I play a daughter, a sister, a mother and a wife. I am the point of communication between my parents, who haven’t spoken to each other in a long time although they live in the same house. I have a teenage daughter who goes through her own problems in school. I believe my character’s story plays out in a way that’s rarely been seen yet in this kind of Tamil series."

Indra’s character has one of the most intense arcs on the show, and the cast members share that the climax between her and her husband left a great impact on the Singaporean audience.

Telling us his experiences of relating to the realism of the show, Puravalan who plays the patriarch Raghavan, says, “At Vasantham channel [in Singapore], we are all like one big family. So, our bonds offscreen helped us to be more bonded onscreen. And we were able to connect all the emotions to our real-life experiences. In real life, I have two daughters and I was able to relate to it completely within the show. That is the best thing about this series. Every character is relatable to real life people.”

The authentic comfort level among the cast is obvious when you watch the show. In the very first episode, we see the family of five interact in a variety of stressful situations, all set within or adjacent to an engagement ceremony. Some of these interactions are sweet and funny, and some are terse or sad. Every single one of them feels genuine.

The show has several strong and nuanced women at its centre, but the men have been fleshed out into engaging, real characters, too. Actor James Kumar who plays the role of Kannan, says, “My character’s personality has several different shades and I even tried adding more to the role. I came in thinking, perhaps he was going through some post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that was why he was being so difficult. He was a man of his situation, after all.”

“A show that will spark conversations on marriage and love”

Throughout the show, marriages and the bonds of love are put to the test. It’s these themes, Puravalan believes in particular, that will have an impact on Tamil audiences. He says, “The show will definitely spark a conversation. It will open up different perspectives on love and marriage for viewers. Some look at the institution of marriage as a cage. There are those who think people can live together with just love and there’s no need for a marriage. Some believe marriage is a bonding exercise. As the stories unfold, you’ll see shades of all that and more. This is definitely a new effort, something more honest and unflinching than people have experienced before”

And it’s not all tension and high stakes. The light side of love and relationships is portrayed with authenticity, too. Thavanesan, who plays the youngest daughter Bhumika’s love interest says, “The roles played by myself and Malene as Bhumika are the comic-relief on the show. Hers is a character that does not believe in the institution of marriage. And I play the guy who takes a chance to persuade her to marry me. What stand does she then take? Can a couple continue to live together without being married to each other? Our track explores that.”

As our conversation draws to a close, the cast members all echo a warm hope that their characters will find new spaces in homes across India, saying, “The show is who we are, and it reflects who audiences are: both traditional and modern, colourful, and always seeking a better story. We’re sure this will be a refreshing show that Indian audiences will love.”

This article was created by TNM Brand Studio in association with ZEE5.

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