Pursuit of Love's Shazad Latif discusses how it explores Alfred's ethnicity

·2-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

The Pursuit of Love star Shazad Latif has opened up about how the BBC miniseries "subtly explores" his character's ethnicity.

Adapted for the small screen by Mary Poppins Returns star Emily Mortimer, from the novel of the same name by Nancy Mitford, the romance drama centres on Fanny (Emily Beecham) and Linda (Lily James), two upper-class cousins navigating love and life in the 1920s.

Latif plays Alfred, Fanny's husband, who sets out to prove himself when he gets enlisted for military service.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: The Pursuit of Love's Lily James discusses season 2 possibilities

"With conscription, that's his chance to go, 'You know what, I am a man. I'm not just a guy who just sits with his books,'" Latif explained to Digital Spy. "He's going to contribute to this country. We don't touch on his South Asianness, but there is an element of him holding back a lot of that.

"He's trying to fit in and blend into this world, so he wants to fight for a country that let him in. It's very interesting.

"One of the producer's grandfathers was a South Asian gunner at the time. We wanted to put that in and just subtly explore it, and it's quite nice the way we do it," he continued.

Photo credit: Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky - BBC
Photo credit: Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky - BBC

Related: Mamma Mia's Lily James on why Pursuit of Love is different from anything she’s worked on

"We don't really talk about it. He's just there, because obviously people were there and that's the way it should be. I'm obviously playing these things in my head. The audience doesn't necessarily know, and I like the mystery of that."

Latif went on to recall how, when he was researching for the role, he would come across images of soldiers from that time period and be surprised at how diverse the battalions were.

"If you don't see the photos – if you just literally type it in [online], you see a whole load of people around and they're not in the schoolbooks, they're not in the syllabus books from a young age," he said. "So there's a bit of brainwashing going on there."

The Pursuit of Love concludes on Sunday, May 23 at 9pm on BBC One. All three episodes are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.

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