Home Entertainment The ‘Mismatched’ couple: Rohit Saraf and Prajakta Koli on their new Netflix...

The ‘Mismatched’ couple: Rohit Saraf and Prajakta Koli on their new Netflix rom-com

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The two actors talk about their instant rapport on set, how their friendship has endured, favourite romantic films, and more

He’s the latest Bollywood boy-next-door heartthrob; his roles in films like The Sky is Pink and Ludo endearing him to youngsters across the country. She is one of the country’s finest YouTubers; a content creator who has grown into a modern icon for young women with her many social initiatives.

Today, they are best friends. And it’s all because they are mismatched.

Rohit Saraf and Prajakta Koli come from different universes, as they put it, but they both couldn’t have asked for better co-stars in their debut Netflix series — Mismatched — that pits their characters, Rishi and Dimple, against each other in an app-developer competition at a summer program.

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Tech-savvy Dimple just wants to take over the world and become a beacon for women empowerment, while Rishi is only around to find the quintessential perfect girl he can settle down with.

Surrounded by a truly eclectic tribe of other students — some stereotypical, others surprising — the rom-com sees the two develop a friendship eventually, and navigate all the highs and lows of their relationship (or romance?).

Sounds like most of your favourite Hollywood young-adult offerings? But that wasn’t the intention while making the show, insist the lead pair, who make for charming banter even on a virtual Zoom call.

“Honestly, none of us thought about it like that. It does give off that vibe because we haven’t seen too many films or shows of its ilk in India before, but we weren’t trying to mimic any Hollywood movie for sure,” grins Rohit, who adds that he could relate to his character Rishi on several levels —mostly because they both are hopeless romantics.

‘Mismatched’ follows the lives of Dimple and Rishi at a summer program for app developers

‘Mismatched’ follows the lives of Dimple and Rishi at a summer program for app developers  
| Photo Credit:
Courtesy of Netflix

Prajakta, who plays the nerdy Dimple, a whiz at games, says it was more a challenge for her to make sure she didn’t come across as a gaming noob — considering the last time she picked up a console was to play Duck Hunt during her school days. “I was like ten years old then… remember, in old Bollywood movies, the actors used to play the guitar without their fingers moving? It was like that for me,” she quips.

But she adds she could relate to Dimple in other ways: “She’s very driven to achieve her goal; if she doesn’t, her parents will get her married! Isn’t that relatable to so many girls —and boys — across the country? I have so many cousins in my family who are dealing with this dilemma. That’s why Dimple is so tough to crack; she doesn’t let her guard down at all, and even gives this guy such a hard time. In real life, I’m not that way though… have you seen Rohit on screen? He’s impossible to resist.” (laughs)

The lead pair admit that shooting for the show was almost like one big party, thanks to showrunner Akarsh Khurana, who ensured that everyone had a great time on set, and the rest of the ensemble cast, who got along swimmingly.

A still from ‘Mismatched’

“It was the first time Prajakta was getting into the acting space, so it was a different experience for her. But I already knew some of them from earlier auditions et al, and when we all met, the collective high from being part of a Netflix show kept us excited throughout. The first reading itself was brilliant — when we got to Jodhpur to shoot, I was banking on the fact that my gang was there to have my back,” says Rohit.

Prajakta, on her part, says that she was nervous at first, but a phone call from Rohit before she joined the sets, was the ice-breaker. “He told me he was following me on Instagram and seeing me running around, and hoped that I was getting enough rest before we started the show. It was so sweet, and I was wondering why I hadn’t thought about getting in touch first. After I met him, he introduced me to everyone else, and was just super helpful and caring. I felt really welcome. Just take me back to the Mismatched sets already!”

Before signing off, are there are favourite rom-coms they binged on to take inspiration from — or to generally cheer them up? Rohit picks Sex Education: “It’s my go-to choice always. Whenever I’m stressed, I put it on and laugh and cry and fall in love; it absolutely makes my day.”

Prajakta chooses an all-time classic, Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ Notting Hill. But she adds, “I’m a total sucker for romcoms, so I also adoreTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix.”

“Hey, I love that movie too,” pipes Rohit.

Maybe they aren’t so mismatched after all.

Mismatched is based on New York’s bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. The series is adapted by Gazal Dhaliwal along with her team Aarsh Vora and Sunayana Kumari, and is currently streaming on Netflix

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