2012 National Film Award winner for drama Director Ashim Ahluwalia who has recently ventured into mainstream cinema with his recently released Daddy, starring Arjun Rampal, reveals how specific he was about the casting of the film
Ashim Ahluwalia who wanted all the cast to be detailed said, “For the role of Asha Gawli, wife of gangster Arun Gawli played by Aishwarya Rajessh, I didn’t want any random model to portray the role because nobody in Bollywood fitted the bill. This is why we looked for actors in the South and found Aishwarya since 90% of our actors [in the Hindi film industry] can’t act. Wait, make that 95%. The sole thing, which made Daddy a bonafide Bollywood film was that it starred Arjun. ”
While giving the interview Ashim Ahluwalia revealed that he didn’t even want to be a part of Bollywood, initially. “My earlier film, Miss Lovely, though in Hindi, wasn’t a Bollywood film, since it was so gritty. When Arjun, who is also the producer of Daddy offered the film to me, I told him that I wasn’t keen to do a Hindi film at all.” Adding that he had also told Arjun that he would opt out of the film if the former was starring as the protagonist of the film.
The filmmaker adds, “I am not the typical Bollywood director. For me, it’s not just about stars and dialogue, but more about creating the perfect atmosphere for my actors. The industry, frankly, doesn’t privilege us, directors. It’s an actor-led industry, whereas, for me, it should be director-led. That’s the fundamental difference we’ve had from the beginning.”