Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi enjoys a reputation for his great work that includes the likes of Children of Heaven and The Color of Paradise. At one point, it was Majidi’s dream to make a film which is set in India and he indeed lived it. The final draft of his film Beyond The Clouds saw Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan play the lead roles, but not many are aware that superstar Deepika Padukone had given a look test for it too.
A couple of years ago, pictures of Deepika in the garb of an old girl hanging about Mumbai’s dhobi ghat area had surfaced online. These photographs sparked rumours of the actress being a part of BTC but looks like it was only a piece of someone’s imagination. Majidi, for one, believes that making such a film would have been difficult with Deepika in the lead. And we don’t doubt it one bit. The fan following that she commands would have made things problematic and not-so-easy to carry on with the set schedule smoothly.
Majidi clarified about dropping Deepika in a conversation with a leading newspaper saying, “You know, Deepika has great potential in Bollywood. In those days, she came, we were together, and we made those costume tests. We just wanted to see how the costumes looked in such situations. She accepted the offer to do that for us and I appreciate that. But unfortunately, for different reasons, we couldn’t carry the collaboration forward. At the beginning, it was more of a producer’s suggestion to use one star in the film. But one of the reasons why we couldn’t collaborate was her age. My character is 20 years old and it was difficult to make anyone look younger with makeup. Also, since we were about to shoot in real locations, it would have been difficult to shoot with Deepika around as she is a star. In future, if my stories demand her, we may collaborate.”
He had spoken about the same to a tabloid, “I didn’t want to work with Bollywood superstars. I always wanted to shoot at different locations in Mumbai, because places are also characters in my films. But even for one audition, It was difficult with Deepika Padukone as there was a large crowd and even more curiosity. That was the reason for not wanting to cast a superstar.”
Beyond The Clouds opened the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India and also won Ishaan the Best Actor award at the 5th International Bosphorous Film Festival for his portrayal of Amir while Malavika played his elder sister Tara.
However, we cannot help but wonder how the casting coup would have been had Deepika played Ishaan’s reel sibling. What do you think? Would the film have been a bigger success? Share your views with us in the comments box!
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