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Ashutosh Gowariker's Buddha on hold

Ashutosh Gowariker's Buddha, continues to be on hold as the 'Lagaan' director is still hunting for the perfect face to play the lead in his international project.

bollywood Updated: Nov 12, 2010 18:20 IST

Ashutosh Gowariker's Buddha, continues to be on hold as the Lagaan director is still hunting for the perfect face to play the lead in his international project.

The Lagaan director, known for films that are set on a huge canvas while boasting of an opulent treatment, says that casting for the title role is turning out to be a challenge.

"It is a very difficult casting which I have in hand here," says Gowariker who is attempting a film with a religious base for the first time.

"I have seen so many actors worldwide but still haven't found the right face to play the part. It is so difficult because this Gowarikeractor has to be convincing as someone who goes through a complete turnaround in his life. I have to go ahead in a zero-compromise mode here."

Another strong reason behind casting a correct face and physical appearance is the fact that Buddha is being pitched for an international market. This means that the actor,whether new or established, is required to have a pan-universal appeal.

"There are so millions in this world who practice Buddhism; whether it is Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese and others. When they see our film, they should be able to relate to the actor and say that this is their Buddha."

All of this means that while the search continues for the right face and personality, Gowariker has been busy with his period thriller Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se, which is up for release.

"All that is occupying my mind currently is Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se. There are just a few more weeks to go and we are going full steam ahead in pumping up the promotion further and bringing the film to the audience."

Period setting is something that should come natural to the 46-year-old director. With critical and commercial successes like Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar behind him, a film like Khelein Hum... once again is set in pre-independent India.

However, Gowariker says that travelling back in history has not been easy for him as each era has its own cinematic challenges.

"Khelein Hum... is an altogether new subject. It came with its own set of challenges."

A period thriller, this Abhishek Bachchan-Deepika Padukone starrer is based on the book DO and DIE: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34 by Manini Chatterjee. The film is set in 1930 when a group of 64 people started a revolution in Chittagong.

"Trust me, it wasn't easy to recreate Chittagong and bring to fore a revolution which has hardly been talked about in the history of India's fight for independence," says the director.

"It was like creating an altogether different world and was quite difficult, taxing and strenuous thing to do. Each time I have done something like this, whether it is Lagaan or Jodhaa Akbar and now Khelein Hum..., there have been obstacles and hurdles. It is never a comfortable space to be in. But then yes, it has always been worth it," he adds.

First Published: Nov 12, 2010 18:13 IST