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Casting Deepika was a risk: Imtiaz Ali

Jab We Met director Imtiaz Ali on leaving out Kareena Kapoor and choosing Deepika Padukone instead. Neha Sharma tells more.

entertainment Updated: Sep 18, 2008 19:48 IST
Neha Sharma

It’s the question everybody’s asking: why Deepika?

Director Imtiaz Ali and Kareena Kapoor formed a cracker of a team in Jab We Met, sweeping awards, and the box office, yet for his next film — produced by Kareena’s boyfriend Saif Ali Khan — Imtiaz chose Deepika Padukone.

“Casting Deepika was a risk,” he admits. “It was a challenge to myself, because she is a newcomer.” Another reason Deepika made the cut was “because her character is very silent, hiding various things inside her. I thought it suited her really well.”

But still, why not Kareena? “I am more fond of Kareena than people think. I really like her a lot. If I’d cast her, she would’ve easily pulled off the role,” says Imtiaz, not quite answering the question.

The film, for now prosaically titled Production No. 1 — “It is not called Breaking Hearts or Elastic,” says Imtiaz — is, not surprisingly, a romance. “It traces the story of Jay (Saif) and Meera (Deepika) and the impact of modern day practicality on relationships,” he says. It will be shot in Red Fort, Purana Qila and on the streets of Delhi. Parts have been shot in London, San Francisco and Kolkata.

The man who is making his name as the new king of romance states that he is not romantic at all. Imtiaz calls himself “heartless”. “If I’m in an intimate moment, instead of enjoying it, I think what it’ll look like on screen,” he says. “Actually, I like loving more than being loved. I don’t want anybody to love me more than I love them.”