Stephen Lang was reluctant to play an Indian man, says Lakshmi Iyer

Apr 07, 2018, 09:31 IST | Mohar Basu

Gandhi: The Conspiracy producer says she had to show actor pictures of Kashmiri men with features resembling his to convince him to play cop

Stephen Lang and Luke Pasqualino in a still from Gandhi: The Consipracy
Stephen Lang and Luke Pasqualino in a still from Gandhi: The Consipracy

India recently played host to Avatar (2009) star Stephen Lang, who arrived in Pune to complete the patchwork of his upcoming venture, Gandhi: The Conspiracy. Shot across Sri Lanka, Dubai and Pune, the Lakshmi Iyer production revolves around Mahatma Gandhi's demise and the growing dissent among select group that led to his murder.

Lakshmi Iyer
Lakshmi Iyer

Iyer reveals that convincing Lang to play an Indian deputy general stationed in Pune, was no mean feat. "He was initially reluctant to play an Indian because he is Caucasian. He loved the script but wasn't sure he could pull it off. We had to run a look test, and also show him pictures of Kashmiri men with features resembling his. Only then was he convinced. Lang plays the leading man in the film. His character is pivotal in enabling India to emerge as a secular nation."

Working with artiste across 34 nationalities was an experience Iyer will cherish. "There were a few ruffled feathers, but I would attribute that behaviour to the hot climate [laughs]. The film features celebrated names - apart from Lang, also including Vinnie Jones, Luke Pasqualino, Bobbie Phillips and Mark Moses. But, on the set, they were adaptive and focussed. This is the first time that they will be part of a period film." The directors, she says, ran a tight ship. "They managed the shots well, after rehearsing them with the cinematographers. The film is a testament to Gandhi. It's Indian, but belongs to the world."

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