Gurinder Chadha: Having twins was easier than making Beecham House

The ITV series is set in India before British rule.

Director Gurinder Chadha has said giving birth to twins was easier than shooting her new ITV period drama Beecham House.

The series, which stars Tom Bateman, is set in 19th century Delhi and explores the fortunes of the residents of the titular stately home.

It features a large cast and was filmed partly in India.

Asked whether filming was challenging, Chadha said: “Yes, that’s why I’m so knackered!

“I’ve had a cold for about three months. It was very hard.

“‘Challenge’ is an understatement.

“I think giving birth to twins and raising them was easier,” the filmmaker, who had twins in 2007, added.

She said of shooting in India: “It’s not like waking up in your own bed with your family and going into work every day, which is manageable.

“It’s not sleeping properly, it’s hot and dusty, dealing with a very large crew and hundreds of extras.

“It’s exhausting.”

Chadha said she often played music to keep the cast and crew upbeat.

“I Bluetooth my phone to speakers so that first thing in the morning or after lunch particularly, I play music and dance,” she said.

“I’d put on Les Miserables and make everybody sing One Day More. Everybody thought I was mad but it’s very rousing!”

The six-part series stars Vanity Fair actor Tom Bateman as enigmatic former soldier John Beecham, who buys the mansion to begin a new life with his family. Beecham is haunted by his work for the East India Company and is determined to become an honourable member of the region’s trading community.

Chadha said as soon as she met the actor she knew he was perfect for the part.

“I fell in love with Tom Bateman as soon as I met him, as I think lots of women will do when they watch this!” she said.

“He’s very intelligent and he totally understood the politics of where we were going.

“As soon as I met him I thought, ‘That’s it, I’ve got my show’.”

Beecham House airs on ITV on Sunday June 23 and Monday June 24 at 9pm. It will then air weekly each Sunday.

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