Actor Kunal Nayyar says his latest series ”Suspicion” makes a social commentary on how certain individuals are thrust into limelight due to social media, a phenomenon that often makes him feel anxious.
Nayyar, best known for playing Raj Koothrappali on the classic sitcom ”The Big Bang Theory”, said social media provides good entertainment but it is a tool that should be used responsibly.
”I definitely have some anxiety when it comes to social media and trying to at least do my best to make sure that I’m using it for good. And then another part of it is that I also like to post selfies when I’m looking handsome.
”It’s like that real fine line between being sort of self voyeuristic, but also wanting to do something good for society. I’m not saying one has a better idea than the other. There is a certain enjoyment that also comes from social media. But there should be some responsibility as well so that both can go hand in hand. It’s definitely a question I ask myself constantly and more,” Nayyar told PTI in a Zoom interview.
”Suspicion”, which debuted on the streamer Apple TV Plus with its first two episodes last week, follows five people — three men and two women — as their lives are turned upside down after being identified as possible suspects by London Police in the kidnapping.
Nayyar plays the role of Adesh Chopra, a cybersecurity expert aspiring for a better life but is forced to work at his father-in-law’s business. He is one of the five suspects identified in the case.
The 40-year-old actor said the show deals with a variety of contemporary issues, including class disparity and power of social media.
”There’s definitely an element of the little guys versus the big guys, which is why it’s so powerful. There’s also an element of the power of social media and how viral videos can change your life overnight.
”(In the show), these people go from being unknown to literally becoming celebrities for being implicated in a kidnapping. What that means is that they’re famous for doing something that is illegal,” he added.
His co-star Elizabeth Henstridge, who features in the show as Tara McAllister, an Oxford professor who also becomes a suspect, believes ”Suspicion” also deals with the issue of surveillance.
”You can feel quite powerless sometimes. There are laws that are passed and you’ve no idea about them. When you realise that London is the most surveilled city in the world, and then you go, ‘I’ve lived here for a while.’ Personally, this doesn’t fit in my life. I don’t want to eat my breakfast worrying about that. ”And I think for me, something that really attracted me to this show was that we kind of meet some people that are trying to do something about that,” she said.
Actor Tom Rhys Harries, who stars Eddie Walker in the series, added that the show asks larger questions about the society on a ”micro level”.
”What I like about the show is that it asks you a lot of questions on a micro level, just to do with these characters in the world they inhabit. That hopefully translates into macro questions about the world that we live in and how they are applicable and relevant to society at large,” he said. What the actor most liked about the show is the social commentary which was interwoven in its basic plot.
”The social commentary is sort of interwoven throughout the whole series and that is what’s most interesting to me certainly. Holding people in power accountable feels very prevalent, while it also deals with how you are vilified by one sector of society and idolized by the other,” Harries added.
”Suspicion”, show run by Rob Williams, also stars Uma Thurman, Noah Emmerich, Georgina Campbell, Elyes Gabel and Angel Coulby.
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