Sri Rao has come a long way since his 2008 stint as head writer of the primetime soap spinoff General Hospital: Night Shift. The accomplished writer recently signed a first-look deal with Netflix to create and develop scripted and unscripted series, the first of which is his highly anticipated thriller The Fame Game, premiering this Friday, February 25.
The eight-part series, formerly titled Finding Anamika, stars legendary Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit as Anamika Anand, a superstar actress, wife, and mother who suddenly vanishes without a trace. As police and loved ones search for answers to her disappearance, the glitzy superstar's perfectly crafted fašade is stripped away, revealing hidden truths and painful lies in the glamorous life of a global icon. (Scroll down for the teaser trailer).
Writer and creator Rao knows a thing or two about spinning super soapy fictional webs. One of his first gigs in Hollywood was the lofty position of head writer on the 2007-2008 General Hospital spin-off series General Hospital: Night Shift. Rao helmed the scripts for the second (and what turned out to be the last) season of the primetime soap opera that starred actors such as Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio), Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake), Antonio Sabato Jr. (Jagger Cates), and Steve Burton (Jason Morgan).
Some of Rao's other writing credits include the films Baar Baar Dekho, White House Affairs, The Black Widow, and Untitled Kelly Ripa Comedy, the latter of which, as hinted in the title, involved Ripa (ex-Hayley Santos, All My Children). But with his recent Netflix deal, he is really excited to focus on global projects that center on South Asian characters, with a particular focus on women and the LGBTQ+ community.
"For the longest time, no one in Hollywood was interested in my experiences as an Indian-American person. I often found myself creating worlds that were filled entirely of white characters. But I held on long enough to get to this point where the industry is slowly changing," Rao said when news of his Netflix deal was announced. "Our mission at Sri & Company is to find the most talented South Asian writers, actors, authors, and other artists from around the world and create compelling content that's entertaining for all audiences, regardless of the color of their skin."
In addition to The Fame Game, Rao's deal with Netflix includes the upcoming series The Henna Artist, which is based on Alka Joshi's bestselling debut novel of the same name. Set against the romantic backdrop of 1950s Jaipur, India, the project will star Frieda Pinto as Lakshmi, the city's most in-demand henna artist. Lakshmi gains access to the secrets of the city's wealthiest women as she builds her life in newly independent India and also falls in love, but her status is threatened by the secrets of her past.
Check out a teaser trailer for The Fame Game below, and let us know what you think in the Comments section at the end of the article.
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