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‘BBC offered me Midnight’s Children first’

Seema Biswas is playing the same role in Deepa Mehta’s film now.

entertainment Updated: Jul 13, 2010 13:37 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

In 1996, Seema Biswas recalls being offered a role in a televised adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 bestseller,

Midnight’s Children

. “The dates had been locked, hotels booked and then, at the last minute, the Channel 4 project fell through, after permission to shoot in Sri Lanka was denied,” she informs.



Over a decade later, Deepa Mehta with whom Biswas has done

Water

and

Cooking With Stella

earlier, approached her for a screen adaptation of the Booker of

Seema Biswas

Bookers Prize winning novel.



“And incredibly, it was the same role I’d been offered earlier by BBC,” says the ecstatic actress, refusing to reveal which character she’s playing. “Deepa will kill me, let her make the announcement first. Also, I’m superstitious and believe that if I talk too soon, the role may slip away. All I can say is that it’s a fascinating character though my favourite from the book is the child Saleem (Sinai).”



Besides Biswas, Mehta has got the nod from Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. Rushdie will also make an appearance on screen. He has collaborated with Mehta on the screenplay.



Biswas met the controversial author at the Toronto Film Festival last year. “I’d read the book and heard about him from his ex-wife Padma Lakshmi, a good friend with whom I interacted a lot on mail. He’s a big man and I’m delighted I’m going to bring his work to life on screen. When I told him about the happy coincidence of being offered the same role twice, he smiled and said, ‘It had to come to you again!"



The film is expected to start filming in September.