The star of Netflix’s new series has repeatedly turned down the lead role

"I thought it was a waste of time"

2 mins read
BAFTA-winning Scottish screenwriter Nicole Taylor leads the writing team for the Netflix adaptation (Netflix)

The star of Netflix’s highly anticipated David Nicholls adaptation has revealed why he “repeatedly” turned down a role in the series.

Ambika Mod, 27, stars opposite Leo Woodall, star of the award-winning series White Lotus, as Emma Morley in a love story that spans 20 years.

Emma and Leo’s character Dexter Mayhew met on July 15, 1988, the night they graduated from Edinburgh University.

The duo go their separate ways the next morning, but both the bestselling novel and the Netflix series follow them on the same day every year.

Each episode of the series follows the changes, joys and heartbreaks of Dex and Em as they grow one year older.

Although he loved the novel, he rejected it

Speaking to the show, which premieres today, Ambika Mod recounted how she fell in love with Nicholls’ novel in 2009 at the age of 14, but when asked to audition, she immediately said “No”.

“I turned down auditions over and over again for several months,” the actress told Grazia:

I love the book and I couldn’t see myself playing that role. I thought it was a waste of time. I foresaw the disappointment I would feel if I got that idea.

Mod played her biggest role to date as student doctor Shruti Acharya in 2022’s This Is Going To Hurt.

“I wanted everything to go away”

Explaining that she was “overwhelmed” by the attention she received after her acclaimed performance, the actress confessed, “I wanted everything to go away.”

Months after turning down an audition for One Day, the successful actress said she had a sudden change of heart and thought, “I made a terrible mistake.”

Consisting of 14 episodes, One Day’s cast includes big names like Eleanor Tomlinson and Joely Richardson.

Sold over 5 million copies

The love story spans decades and is based on a 2009 novel by 57-year-old British author David Nicholls, which has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.

Emma and Dexter’s story has been brought to the big screen before. The movie of the same name, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, was released in 2011 but received negative as well as positive reviews.


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