Sudhir Mishra who starts shooting for his ambitious period epic Mehrunissa by year-end on location in Lucknow, has found the perfect solution to the problem of getting the old and the young avatars of the Bachchan and Kapoor characters to seem flawlessly synchronized on screen.
The two theatre actors who will be playing the younger avatars of the Big B and Rishi Kapoor would now spend the entire 40 days of the long Lucknow shooting observing the Big B and Rishi Kapoor shooting.
Reveals Sudhir, “It’s the only way we can get the actors to replicate what Bachchan Saab and Rishi do to their characters. We’ll ask the two actors who play their younger versions to be present on location constantly. And that means, every walking, moment. They’ll be observing the two actors minutely both on and off camera, and they’ll imbibe and absorb the nuances, body postures, hand movements, every little detail and use it in their performance.”
Sudhir says this is the only way the younger versions of the Bachchan and Kapoor can be played. “Let’s face it. These are super-iconic actors. No one can fully replicate their performances. So we’re getting the two young new actors to come on the sets, observe them and model their characters accordingly. That’s why we decided to shoot out of chronology. We’ll shoot the older portions first only so that the two actors would have reference points to base their characters on. Then we go back to shoot the first-half with the new actors.”
The other option was to let the Big B and Rishi play their own young avatars with the use of prosthetics. That option was quickly dropped since the end-result would have been artificial.
Sudhir Mishra has also decided to use completely new faces. “We’ve two casting directors working on finalizing the young Bachchan and Kapoor. There are are a 100 names on the short list. We’ll take a call in two weeks. But whoever they are, both the actors chosen to play the young Bachchan and Rishi would cease to have a life of their own once the shooting with Bachchan Saab and Rishi starts. They’ll be following the two stalwarts like understudies.”