‘Family Karma’ star Anisha Ramakrishna talks bringing Indian representation to Bravo and beyond

·4-min read
Anisha Ramakrishna
Anisha Ramakrishna

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Family Karma is Bravo’s most promising new show in years. Rather than being a spin-off or an extension of an existing franchise, the Miami-set show about Indian American families brings a completely new, intergenerational cast of characters to our screens. And it’s Anisha Ramakrishna, with her quippy one-liners and tell-it-like-it-is narration, that was first to capture our attention.

For the latest episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series We Should Talk, Anisha Ramakrishna opened up about all things Family Karma, including the initial reactions to the show, finding out that they were getting a second season, all of the preexisting relationships that they bring to Bravo and the boundaries they’re breaking when it comes to Indian representation on television.

“People ask me, ‘What made you decide to freeze your eggs on TV?’ I was going to do it anyway, but knowing that it would help a lot of people out there who are minorities and come from these cultures that don’t talk about it at all, that made me more mindful and sensitive of those subjects and putting it out there, versus in my actual life, [where] maybe I wouldn’t really, I’d just glaze over it,” she said of being open on camera. “But diving deep and talking about those topics… how many people can relate to having in-law drama? To put that out there on a show, that’s deep! I think what we’ve decided as a friend group — I know people say cast, but we’re also friends — we have made the decision to give you everything.”

Listen to Family Karma star Anisha Ramakrishna’s full episode of We Should Talk below, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:

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Anisha Ramakrishna on Family Karma having multiple gay cast members: “How lucky am I that I get to be on a show with two people who are part of the LGBTQIA community? Not only are they men, but they’re Indian! They’re South Asian. It’s crazy to me. How lucky are we? One’s in a relationship — an interracial relationship — and one is single and mingling. It’s iconic (…) I don’t know how many South Asians are out there living openly, to be honest. So this actually helps a lot of people. So many people have messaged Amrit and Dillon that have just said, ‘Wow, you’re helping me.'”

Anisha Ramakrishna on the initial reaction to Family Karma: “We’re a very closed culture. You don’t see a lot of Indians opening up about their personal life. You see a lot of Indians — there’s, like, a billion of us, right? — but you see us as doctors or as engineers or at a call center. But to see us actually living, drinking, freezing our eggs, kissing, dating, fighting with our in-laws? I mean, that’s a whole new world that we’re opening up to the viewer and America. And so in the beginning, people were hesitant, but we’re a community-driven culture, so at the end, everyone supported us. But there were a lot of raised eyebrows.”

Anisha Ramakrishna on which Monica Brian Benni belongs with: “I don’t know who Brian’s soulmate is, but I know her name is Monica. He likes a lot of Monicas! What a lot of people don’t know is, the two on the show aren’t the only ones that have been named Monica. I’ll leave it at that. He has a thing for Monicas (…) I think he was really into Doctor Monica because it’s new and fresh, and maybe now that Monica Vaswani is with Rish, I can’t picture her with someone else. I like seeing Doctor Monica and Brian.”

Anisha Ramakrishna on the drama between Vishal and Richa’s mothers coming between their relationship: “I think it’s hard to watch because I love them both equally, and they’re such amazing human beings and so are their families and so are both Auntie Lopa and Auntie Reshma. They’re both power queens. When I watch, I really just want them to work out. Like, get through this! Get through it somehow. Personally, for me, and I’ve said this before, it’s a deal-breaker. Family is very important to me, and I think that’s why they still haven’t married. Because it’s a big deal (…) In season one, you see a lot of Vishal and Richa and that unfolding. In season two, you’re going to see a lot of Vishal, Richa and their parents together. And things are being talked about! The viewer wants to see that, and I want to see that.”

Watch In The Know’s full interview with Anisha Ramakrishna below and tune into Family Karma on Bravo, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST.

If you enjoyed this interview, check out In The Know’s recent interview with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Garcelle Beauvais!

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