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Why Nag Ashwin chose to cast major actors from across India in ‘Kalki 2898 AD’

IANS | July 11, 2024 02:02 PM

MUMBAI: Director Nag Ashwin, who is currently receiving a lot of positive response to his sci-fi epic movie ‘Kalki 2898 AD’, has spoken up on his decision about casting big names across the film industries of India.

‘Kalki 2898 AD’, which stars Kamal Haasan, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Prabhas, is inspired by the Indian epic of Mahabharata and blends mythology with science fiction.

It is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the year 2898 AD, and follows a select group on a mission to save Kalki, the unborn child of SUM-80 (played by Deepika), a lab subject.

The filmmaker spoke with IANS about the long journey of mounting the film, and how he managed to handle such a huge star cast that features the titans of the Indian film industry.

The film has netted Rs 536 crore in India, and looks unstoppable. Talking about his state of mind given the stellar response to the film on the box office, the director called it “a lot of satisfaction.”

He said: “I’m also a little bit overwhelmed because it has been a long journey for everyone involved in the film.”

The film also features several cameos from stars across the film industries in India. Sharing the reason behind casting actors from practically every film industry of India, Nag Ashwin told IANS: “In a way, it was a commercially-driven decision but I wanted representation from every language or state in our film. So, we consciously tried to take artiste from all across the country be it Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and others.”

It has been a long and arduous journey for every artiste on the film, given its scale and sheer magnificence. How did he keep the passion alive during all these years? The director said: “The core of the story was something that excited me, and I knew that once we started, it would be very hard because what we were trying to do was linked to Mahabharata, which is the greatest Indian epic.”

He further mentioned that his team and his producers constantly supported him, and it was because of the collective energies that it became possible otherwise it would have been much harder to mount and deliver this film.

When asked about the trick to handle so many big stars in the film, the director told IANS that there isn’t any trick, and that all the actors involved in the project are thorough professionals which makes the job of a filmmaker much easier.

“All the stars are so mature and experienced that they knew exactly what they needed to do, and they knew their purpose. They made life quite easy for us on the sets, and being such great actors they really elevated what was there on paper to something much greater, ” he added.

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