‘Ash agreed to do Sarbjit in 15 minutes’

MUMBAI: Though she will be seen in a deglam avatar in her coming film Sarbjit, Bollywood director Omung Kumar says Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan agreed to be a part of it within 15 minutes.

The film is based on Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national who was jailed in Pakistan on the charge of spying. Rai Bachchan plays the role of his sister Dalbir Kaur.

Kumar says he wanted to cast an actress who could pull off being a 20-year-old and a 60-year-old with equal ease.

“There are a very few actors who are in the middle range (in age) and mature enough to play a 22-year-old and a 60-year-old also. Young actors can be aged but it looks fake. I wanted that middle person,” Kumar told PTI.

“Nobody would think of Aishwarya in this role at all. Because people might say ‘from which angle she looks like Dalbir’. I made Dalbir my way. All the mannerisms of Dalbir are there, the walk, the talk, but look-wise I’ve made Aishwarya not to look like Aishwarya,” the director added.

This will be the second biopic Kumar has made after his national-award winning Mary Kom.

“It just took 15 minutes for Aishwarya to say yes to the film. I know her for a long time, since her Miss India days and we have been friends. But I wanted to go to her with a solid role. She saw the full research I had done, I narrated one scene because I didn’t have a script then, and she was on board,” he said.