Meet Author Annika Sharma

Hi! Holy moly, this was so much fun to do! I know many authors often imagine certain movie stars as their characters—I’m no different. The Rearranged Life, my book about an Indian-American college student who bucks an arranged marriage when she falls in love with an American, went on sale in May and the characters still speak to me often, sometimes in the form of these actors! Some of you might be surprised by the way I casted this…some of these actors are a bit older than the age-range of the characters but they are just so perfect for the roles that I wouldn’t care. J I can’t wait to see which you agree and disagree with! Don’t hesitate to email me at and let me know…I can’t wait to hear from you and thank you for having me!

Deepika Padukone as Nithya Kolluri. Deepika is a Bollywood actress and she’s played a really wide variety of roles. I think she could easily pull off Nithya’s naivete and innocence but also add a combination of sass and conflict to the story. She’s beautiful like Nithya would be, but she never seems aware of it, which is required because Nithya also has a really quiet, elegant beauty about her.

Ben Barnes as James St. Clair. I know, I know, Ben has brown eyes and James has brilliant green ones. When I picture James, I see a confident and playful guy with a serious side. I used to picture a young Colin Egglesfield-type as James, but then I saw The Words with Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. In it, Ben Barnes plays a character who doesn’t speak much but has a storyline that spans a playful, young love and earth-shattering heartbreak. When I saw how much range he had, I instantly couldn’t picture anyone else as James, who is somebody who fights for love but certainly has his vulnerable and obstinate moments in The Rearranged Life.

Brittany Snow as Sophia Bellamy. You guys have seen John Tucker Must Die (or really, anything Brittany has ever been in), right? Brittany Snow can do sweet, sassy, vulnerable, sarcastic and loyal all in one shot. Plus…look at those blue eyes. I know Sophia is supposed to be really tall—but I’d be willing to forego the height to get a really great actress to play her.  

When I picture Nishanth Dhavala, I usually picture someone like Hrithik Roshan…a major Bollywood actor who I’ve been in love with for the last fifteen years. He’s also 40 and while he looks younger, he wouldn’t be able to pull it off realistically. Manish Dayal, however, can pull quiet confidence off spectacularly. Have you ever seen The Hundred-Foot Journey? He handles himself like a pro. Definitely Nishanth material.

Ryan Guzman as Luca Sorrento. I mentioned Luca’s Latin heritage in the book but in my mind, he’s a mix of Latino and Italian. Ryan Guzman can be silly and indulgent, but wise. Also…hello, six-pack.

Juhi Chawla as Nithya’s mom, Priya…for those of you who don’t know, Juhi Chawla is an actress who is legendary in Bollywood, and is just hitting her late forties now. She’s a force to be reckoned with—spunky, sweet and all things in between—exactly like Nithya’s mom, who is very strict with her daughter.

Irfan Khan as Nithya’s dad Venkata Kolluri. Irfan Khan has done the father thing a lot lately—particularly in The Namesake. If you’ve watched him on screen in Life of Pi or anything else for that matter, then his calm, relaxed tones are familiar to you. That’s exactly how I picture Nithya’s dad—cool, levelheaded, firm when necessary and certainly a disciplinarian but more analytical than emotional

Moira Kelly as Ava St. Clair…I’ve been obsessed with her since she played Karen on One Tree Hill. She’s a bit young for James’ mom’s description but she would do an epic job of playing the wise mother who knows how to control her three boys.

Tony Goldwyn as William St. Clair…He plays the president of the United States on Scandal and he carries himself with such grace. He can do strong, brooding and intelligent with the best of them. What a DILF.

Patrick J. Adams from Suits would make an excellent Max St. Clair. He has that emotional awareness, smart-ass attitude and seriousness all at the same time that Max needs as a doctor. Plus, how cute would he be with glasses?

And finally…Colton Haynes as Tristan St. Clair. Look at that smile! He’s got mischief written all over him. Plus, he tends to play broody roles so I would love to see him be a total goober. 

Apryl Baker

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