Ranbir, not Shahid in fray for role in Mira Nair`s next

Updated: Nov 30, 2010, 18:39 PM IST

Panaji: US-based Indian filmmaker Mira Nair says she in talks with Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor for the role of Changez in her film `The Reluctant Fundamentalist`.

"I am in touch with Ranbir for the role, but there are three other actors who are also in contention," she said, dismissing media reports that Shahid Kapoor was also in the fray for the role.

The film is aimed at dispelling the notion of Islamophobia, which has pre-occupied the West in the recent past.

Describing the film as an answer from the subcontinent to the American perspective on war and issues like Islam, Nair said: "The movie is about a dialogues between two friends in a cafe in Lahore, which presents a south Asia perspective of the war."

"There is the myth of Islamophobia which the West is obsessed with. We need to counter it. We need to speak about it," she added.

Nair also said that although the film was largely set in Lahore, Pakistan, it would be shot in India as well as New York and Chile.

"We have used actors from Asia and Latin America. We want to shoot for a few days in Pakistan. But the Lahore part has been shot in Delhi, because the cities have architectural similarities," she said.

The story takes place during the course of a single evening in an outdoor Lahore cafe, where a bearded Pakistani man called Changez tells a nervous American stranger about his love affair with and eventual abandonment of America.

The Orissa-born and Harvard educated director has directed several internationally renowned films like `Mississippi Masala`, `Kama Sutra` and `The Namesake`.

Her 1988 film `Salaam Bombay`, based on the lives of street children, was nominated for an Academy Awards in the best foreign film category that year.

IANS