Ritesh Batra is following up his The Lunchbox success with back-to-back, highly-anticipated international projects -- The Sense of an Ending and Our Souls at Night-- but for the director it is more about working with great actors than ‘going Hollywood’.
Batra has begun shooting for his second international film Our Souls at Night, which is backed by Netflix and features Hollywood veterans Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, in Colorado.
Based on Kent Haruf’s novel, the story revolves around two elderly Colorado neighbours, who seek companionship after the death of their respective spouses.
“I don’t think of it like that (going international). It is just that one thing leads to another. I never thought about it like I am doing stuff in Hollywood or somewhere else. You do it because you love your job and get a chance to work with these great actors,” Batra told PTI in an interview.
The director did not have much time between the two projects as he got the offer for the movie while he was still shooting the adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Booker Prize-winning novel.
“I was wrapping The Sense of an Ending in London when the producer reached out to me. I had a phone call with Robert. I love the book and the script and I really wanted to work with Robert and Jane. It just happened very quickly. I was very happy to jump onboard. It is an interesting time for me.”
Batra is happy to see Indian actors working in international projects but feels the industry should also welcome foreign talents.
“Hopefully, it is a trend. But it would be great if we also welcomed people in our world. Foreign directors should come to India and make films for the Indian audience. This kind of exchange is important. We have such great actors. There is a strong tradition in the UK of foreign directors coming and making movies. I felt very welcome there and I am very comfortable making this movie in Colorado.”
Both his films are book adaptations and star some of the biggest names in international cinema - be it Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Michelle Dockery or Redford and Fonda.
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