“The Night Of” concluded its eight-episode run with a gripping finale episode last week. But while Nasir “Naz” Khan (Riz Ahmed) was eventually exonerated in the end, there weren’t a lot of happy endings to go around for the characters, especially Amara Khan’s Chandra, who was fired and was in danger of disbarment for some very questionable choices.
Karan recently opened up about her character and “The Night Of” during an interview with Variety, where she explained that the wrong choices Chandra made in the series could be attributed to her naiveté and lack of experience. In the finale, it was revealed that Chandra had not only kissed Naz, but also smuggled drugs into prison for him. She also called him to testify in court, which backfired when Naz could not say for sure that he didn’t kill Andrea (Sofia Black-D'Elia).
“She’s very inexperienced,” Karan said of Chandra. “She finds herself in a big situation, and I think that she goes to the edge of herself. These interesting dynamics and contradictions were coming up in all the characters because they’re put under these circumstances. That’s part of the reason the part was very interesting and very challenging to portray.”
When asked why Chandra chose to smooch Naz despite knowing that she was crossing some ethical lines, Karan said that she would prefer having the audience come up with their own interpretation for her character’s actions. She explained that one of the best things about “The Night Of” is that “not every action is explained” so viewers can draw their own conclusions. “I think she is at the edge of her own confidence and her own insecurity,” she said of Chandra. “I think what eventually happens to her is a tragedy and a shame. She makes the choices. She is too involved to be the best lawyer that she could be. And it’s a portrayal of that idea.”
As for why Chandra gave Naz drugs and then made him testify in court, Karan told the publication that her character thought it would be a good idea for the jury to hear her client’s side of story from Naz himself. “Were they the smartest choices? They were very hubristic choices, obviously,” she said of Chandra’s decision. “It was interesting to me that she would eventually be her own downfall. That was an interesting journey, and an interesting character for me to dive into. It’s a reality that we can also go too far with our instincts or go too far with our investments in what we do. And maybe that’s the story of Chandra.”
Fans, including celebrities such as Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks, were dismayed when Chandra seemingly made blunder after blunder in the finale after seeing how competent she was all season, and according to Karan, she enjoyed the audience’s reaction to her character’s story.
“It was such a lovely compliment, particularly when you love a character. ‘No, why did you do that!’ It’s when you feel so invested in a character that people were taken aback by the things that she ended up doing. It’s a reality of being pushed into a situation that’s ahead of you or before you and you can be so competent in some ways and so utterly naïve in others. It’s that contradiction in marrying that that I was so very interested in,” she explained of fans’ reactions.
When asked about what’s in store for Chandra, Karan seemingly hinted that a second season for “The Night Of” is in the cards, telling Variety, “You’re going to have to tune into ‘The Night Of’ Season 2! You could invent so many wonderful stories. Why not? She could open her own law firm and start her career all over again.”
Karan revealed that she would love to appear in “The Night Of” Season 2 and work with her co-stars for another season of the HBO show. “Absolutely if there’s a great story and a great part, absolutely, as there was in the first season,” she said when asked if she wants to do a Season 2. “I really loved making the show. I learned a lot. I loved working with John Turturro and Riz and Steven Zaillian. It was a dream come true. If a good story came up, I’d grab it.”
However, Karan added that “The Night Of” Season 2 hasn’t been confirmed yet and all she’s heard about it is “chatter. Nothing real.”
Karan’s co-star Ahmed also recently opened up about the series and talked about the possibility of a second season. “I think it was conceived of as a one-season one-off,” Ahmed told The Hollywood Reporter of Naz’s story. “Perhaps [if] there's a second season, they might do a different case like they did in the British version of the show. I think sometimes it's said, ‘Better to quit while you're ahead.’”