Sushmita Sen says she tied up with Ketan Desai's MKD Productions for her dream project Rani Laxmibai, which she will direct and produce, because she needed someone she could trust and knew the nitty gritty of making films.
Ketan, son of well-known filmmaker Manmohan Desai, will serve as the executive producer on the historical film and Sushmita can barely contain her excitement at the collaboration.
"It would've been impossible for me to look into all the nitty gritty. I had to work with people whom I can trust implicitly. Ketan is an extremely capable and clued in man," Sushmita, who plays the title role in the film, told IANS.
While Ketan will bring his cinematic expertise into Sushmita's dream project, another Desai, Nitin, is busy designing the elaborate period sets of the film.
For the crucial war scenes, the 33-year-old takes her mixed Indian and British crew to China.
"The cast will be both British and Indian actors," she said.
The casting of the British actors is currently on and celebrated British agency William Morris has been employed to find the perfect actors for the movie.
"We will stick as far as possible to the language of the characters' national identity. But we've to keep the question of accessibility in mind. The film will therefore be largely in Hindi and Urdu."
Since Rani Laxmibai's husband was a man much older than the queen, there will be no romantic interest for Sushmita in the film.
And, yes, Sushmita will dedicate the film to her dear friend Rajiv Narayan, who died of cancer recently.
"They were both such fierce warriors battling their enemies till the very end," said Sushmita, who said Rani Laxmibai had always been a role model.
Commenting upon her production house, Sushmita said: "Being the first product of my production house Tantra Productions, 'Rani Laxmibai' is something that I'm very ambitious about.
"While Tantra Productions is the parent company, Sushmita Sen Productions will be producing feature films. Tantra will be going into every sphere of entertainment, from television software to events management - all kinds of things to do with the creative process. There'll be different divisions of Tantra."
But the production house is now focusing only on the historical project.
"Sushmita Sen Productions is what we're focusing on right now. I'm working very hard to put the company's logistics in place. Going into direction wasn't something I had planned.
"Unfortunately or fortunately, I can't think of anyone else who feels as strongly about Laxmibai. If that's the seat I'm being persuaded to take, it's in the best interest of my film that the creative people I've on board must have a trustworthy name in the market."
An ex-Miss India, Sushmita has given quite a few hits like "Biwi No. 1", "Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya" and "Main Hoon Na". But right now she is restless.
"I get only four-six hours of sleep these days. Fortunately, I am not facing the camera these days. So I don't care how I look."
"Dulha Mil Gaya" is Sushmita's only other acting assignment at the moment.
"It's my genre of a film, and I'm very excited about it. By god's grace the film will be a decent precursor to Rani Laxmibai."