Supinder Wraich’s series The 410 is a new take on a crime series with a South Asian female at the helm
The 410, is a new series named after the solitary highway connecting the suburb of Brampton to the Greater Toronto Area. It centers around a South Asian female lead who turns to a life of crime to bail her truck driver father out of prison. The show is positioned to be the Indo-Canadian community’s response to The Godfather, or The Soprano’s, with a young female protagonist at the helm.
We chatted with Supinder Wraich, the South Asian actress and filmmaker behind this new series.
1) Tell us more about the new series, The 410
The 410 is a digital series on CBC Gem told in three parts. The story centers on Suri (Surpreet) Deol, an Indo-Canadian wannabe-Instagram-it-girl who’s forced to return home to the suburb of Brampton, Ontario after her truck driver father is arrested for smuggling narcotics across the border. The series explores a fractured father daughter relationship within the structure of a fast paced, family crime drama. The show is currently steaming on CBC Gem for Canadian viewers to watch online for free, without a subscription!
2) What was your inspiration for this new series?
Around 2014/2015, I began to notice a reoccurring narrative in the Indo-Canadian community where South Asian truck drivers were arrested at several borders for attempting to traffic narcotics. I imagined the lives of those truck drivers: what aspirations drove them to commit those crimes: money/power/social rank? At the same time, I also had an interest in the growing ‘influencer’ culture and a fascination with what people choose to project about themselves on social media vs. what they hide. As I began to develop the characters of the father and the daughter in the story, I saw a similar theme in both their lives: each character possessed a desire for something just out of their reach. Although they operated in two very different worlds, they were both victim to the pursuit of the same objective. There was something about that narrative that as an actor I identified with, in this desire for more, without knowing exactly what the ‘more’ looks like. Exploring that idea was one of the main motivators for me in writing The 410.
3) Why was the series named The 410? Why The 410 and not something else?
I came up with the name, funnily enough, while driving on the 410… Even after I had written the project, we hadn’t settled on a name. I was actually on my way to the photo shoot for our series poster, and Kay Ray, our marketing advisor on the series had asked me to pick her up from Brampton. I had a million things to do, but if Kiran asks you to pick her up, you go get her! I drove to Brampton from Toronto, and the drive just seemed so LONG! …It was rush hour and traffic, including dozens of tractor-trailers, was forging ahead at a snail’s pace and I just felt stuck. The 410, in that moment was the last place I wanted to be. That’s when it clicked. The 410 is this artery in and out of Brampton. Truck yards, warehouses, factories flank it on either side. It doesn’t boast pretty scenery, but it’s so important to the economy and livelihoods of so many Bramptonians, yet almost nobody is happy to be on that stretch of road. I felt that, in a way, that’s how Suri feels about returning home, until she comes to know the value of this place. I pitched the name to our team, and immediately, everyone was on board, so that’s what we called it.
4) What is the main objective behind the series? What do you hope for this series to achieve?
Our aim in producing a series about the South Asian Community for the CBC that addresses a strained father/daughter relationship, as well as addiction, imprisonment, patriarchy is that it’ll shine a light on things we’ve felt the need to hide. I’m not pointing a finger specifically at our community; I believe these issues exist across all cultures, but for the Indo-Canadians their experiences with these issues have not been given a venue to be explored, or examined. I’m hoping by doing so, that it’ll help us feel less alone, less ashamed, and maybe even bring us together.
5) What do you hope people take away from this series?
The Godfather came out in the early 70’s and in 2009 the Italic Institute of America released a report based on FBI statistics, stating that only 0.00782 percent of Italian-Americans possessed any criminal associations. And yet, according to a national Zogby poll, 74 percent of the American public believed that Italian-Americans had ties to the mob. I was conscious from the beginning that I was writing a story that shined a light on a dark topic within a community that has so many highlights, like Jagmeet Singh, Rupi Kaur, Harjit Sajjan, and Lilly Singh to name just a fraction Punjabi’s making us proud. With that in mind I tried my best to create complex, nuanced characters that didn’t succumb to a stereotype. What I hope permeates above all else in this series, even though sometimes our characters do awful things, are the ties that bind them together, the strength of the family, and a true reflection of the immigrant/ first generation experience.
Learn more: https://www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/program/the-410