Ranbir`s mom in `Raajneeti` is 30-year-old Nikhila

Updated: May 31, 2010, 16:07 PM IST

Mumbai: She is just three years older, but first-time actress Nikhila Trikha is the chosen one to play Ranbir Kapoor`s mother in the high-voltage political drama ‘Raajneeti’.

"I was very clear that the facial resemblance has to be very strong. I wanted Ranbir, Arjun Rampal to look like brothers, which they do, and I wanted the actress playing Ranbir`s mother to look like him," said Prakash Jha, the film`s director.

Ranbir, 27, is extremely particular about who plays his mom on screen. In ‘Raajneeti’, the choice was narrowed down even further since Jha wanted the actress playing Ranbir`s mother to resemble him physically.

After considering several unusual actresses for the part of his mother including Raveena Tandon, who thought she wasn`t old enough to play Ranbir`s mother, and Mrinal Kulkarni, Jha zeroed in on 30-year-old Nikhila.

Ranbir apparently gave his nod the minute he saw the unknown actress who has to play a very young woman required to take over a political dynasty and later, her US-based son Ranbir`s mother in this dynastic saga.

Known to work with seasoned and saleable actresses, how did Jha offer such a complex role to an inexperienced actress?

"When Nikhila auditioned for the part, I instinctively knew she was right for the part although she has had no acting experience. In fact, Ranbir who`s younger than her was far more experienced. But he never let her feel like a newcomer," said Jha.

Releasing Friday, the film also stars Ajay Devgn, Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Katrina Kaif and Manoj Bajpai.