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She came up with a casting coup

entertainment Updated: Jan 13, 2009 00:43 IST
Naomi Canton
Naomi Canton
Hindustan Times
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When it came to casting, Loveleen Tandan, co-director of Slumdog Millionaire, had a big task ahead.

She had to find a total of nine actors — including children to play the lead roles of two orphan boys and a girl living in Juhu slums.

“The age groups were quite unusual. At those ages you don’t have popular stars,” said the 35-year-old, who had fixed the cast for Monsoon Wedding and Brick Lane.

“I wanted the ‘uninhibitedness’ you don’t get in kids that appear in TV adverts,” said the 35-year-old.

For six months, she scouted dance schools, regular schools and slums in Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Jaipur. Finally, in the slums of Mahim she found her two actors, Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali to play the roles of younger Salim and Latika respectively.

“It was a great experience directing the slum children — they were not natural actors but they were natural.”

Now she is busy dubbing the film into Hindi ready for its release here. “It's not just a Hindi translation. The Indian version has the Bollywood flavour.”