Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker has launched an ambitious worldwide hunt for the lead actor in his Rs 100 crore epic, Buddha. For the first time ever, sample video clips have been put up on the film’s website, buddha-movie.com, for the purpose of auditions. “I welcome actors between 20 to 35 years of age from all over the world to audition for playing the role of Buddha. The search is open to everyone, no matter your ethnicity, looks or colour,” says Gowariker.
The film, written by Oscar-winner David Ward, focuses on the life of Prince Siddharth and his journey to enlightenment as Gautam Buddha. It is set to go on floors in May and will be completed by year end.Producer Bhupendra Kumar Modi said, “For Siddharth’s role, we’re looking for actor whom the youth can connect with.”
It was earlier reported that either Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan would play the role, but Govariker said, “To portray the innocence of Siddharth, I am looking for a fresh face.” There are rumours about Hollywood actor Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith playing the role of young Buddha, as the director was impressed with his work in The Pursuit of Happyness. Govariker, however, refused to comment.