When director-producer Anurag Kashyap roped in over 390 actors for his magnum opus, Gangs Of Wasseypur (GOW), little did he know that he would find himself in this tricky situation several months after the movie was completed. The two-part production will be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22. And apparently, about 50 actors from the cast have expressed the desire to walk the red carpet at the French Riviera.
“It’s a bit embarrassing for Anurag because he continues to get such requests. But GOW has already become an expensive film and the makers don’t want to escalate the budget any further by spending money on everyone’s travel expenses. It’s not feasible,” says a unit member.
The makers have apparently spent around Rs 10 to Rs 15 crore only on the cast’s remuneration, which, according to the director, “entailed some cost”. Even then, Anurag, who is known for his small-budget projects, doesn’t call this film very expensive by Bollywood standards. He does, however, say that it is definitely his “most expensive film.” But tradesmiths feel the budget shouldn’t come as a surprise as the investment eventually funded two films — the first part of GOW tells the story of the coal mafia from 1941 to 1990, and the second one deals with the ’90s.
When contacted, Anurag explains, “GOW has around 340 main characters and all of them are extremely important to the film. However, given the constraints, only 10 of the key members will be able to travel to Cannes, and I’m sure whoever is going is excited.”
The process of finalising the cast for the film went on for almost a year. Casting director Mukesh Chhabra roped in actors from cities like Patna, Benaras, Delhi and Mumbai, as well as smaller towns.