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Kamal Haasan defends cast of new film 'Viswaroop'

Viswaroop leading lady Pooja Kumar was cast over Skype

  • Indian actor and director Kamal Haasan
    Indian actor and director Kamal Haasan (centre) poses with Bollywood actresses Andrea Jeremiah, left, and PoojImage Credit: AP
  • Indian actor and director Kamal Haasan
    From left: Cast members Javed Akhtar, Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah and Jaideep Ahlawat attend thImage Credit: AP

Singapore: South Indian matinee idol Kamal Haasan defended his choice of taking a new face in his ambitious bilingual feature Viswaroop.

“I was not looking for stars per se. I was looking for talent and I found that in them,” he said at a press interaction during the IIFA weekend in Singapore. He headhunted his US-based leading lady Pooja Kumar over Skype.

“When I auditioned, she thought I was making a movie about werewolves or Hannibal,” recalled Haasan.

Currently, he may be content with his discovery, but there was a time when it was rumoured that he had a tough time finalising one. It was rumoured that the role was rejected by A-listers including Sonakshi Sinha and Deepika Padukone.

“It’s a nice thing to refuse. It shows your position. But the fact is we didn’t get the dates. Their names were suggested by a financier. We should work in a film with artists whose mindset is different,” said Haasan, who refused to divulge names.

Dubbing the action-drama as his career’s costliest film, Haasan is seen in several avatars including the hapless husband, a Katahak exponent and a gun-toting assassin. However, despite his star-power and long-enduring box-office appeal, the actor is unsure of its success.

“Audiences are something that we are scared of. We are so paranoid of audiences that we forget to realise that we filmmakers are also one of them,” said Haasan.