Mumbai: The makers of forthcoming film `Madras Cafe` initially wanted to cast actress Freida Pinto along side actor-producer John Abraham, but she couldn`t take up the project.
Freida rose to prominence as Latika in the 2008 British Indian drama film `Slumdog Millionaire`. The actress became an overnight sensation after the film won a bevy of international awards.
Since then she has worked in international projects like Woody Allen`s `You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger`, `Rise of the Planet of the Apes` opposite James Franco and `Trishna`.
Earlier, apparently director Shoojit Sircar had approached Freida for his upcoming John Abraham starrer political thriller `Madras Cafe`, reportedly set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war of the 1990s.
"We had initially approached Freida Pinto who had loved the script and expressed her interest in doing the film. She (Freida) had Woolly Allen`s film so she couldn`t do it," John said.
As Freida couldn`t do the film, the makers later approached actress Nargis Fakhri. The `Rockstar` actress is playing the role of an international journalist.
"She (Freida) called me and said it is courageous of me to make a film like `Madras Cafe` because India needs to see more films like that. I took that as a compliment. It is nice to hear that," John said.