It wasn’t smooth sailing for Mira Nair while filming her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The film, based on Mohsin Hamid’s novel, is set in Pakistan. However, it wasn’t tensions in the sub-continent, but refusal by insurance companies to cover Hollywood actors Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland, that kept Mira away from shooting in Lahore.
“Hollywood stars must have insurance, but the companies didn’t feel that it was safe for them to go to Pakistan. The risk of shooting without cover was too high, so we shot in Delhi. We had a second unit shooting the parts that didn’t involve the actors in Pakistan,” says Mira. The film will hit theatres in Pakistan on May 24. “It is a big release and I am quite excited about it.” she says. As Mira shares a distant connection with the country, she wanted to show how innocent Pakistanis suffered in the aftermath of 9/11.
“When I first visited Lahore in 2004, I was moved by the arts and the warmth of the city. I grew up speaking Urdu, reading the poems of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and listening to ghazals. Since 9/11, the conversation of the east with the west was a monologue and this story gave me the chance to make it a dialogue”, says Mira. The film releases today (May 17).