Why Gowariker cast Priyanka for 12 roles

Sep 19, 2009 Gurmukh Singh

Toronto, Sep 19 (IANS) Bollywood director Ashutosh Gowariker, whose "What's Your Rashee?" premiered at the Toronto Film Festival here Saturday, said he chose Priyanka Chopra to play the role of 12 brides-in-waiting to rule out beauty as a dominant theme in the film.

In "What's Your Rashee?" (What's your sun sign?), which is based on Madhu Rye's Gujarati novel "Kimball Ravenswood", Priyanka plays the role of 12 girls who meet bride-hunting NRI Yogesh Patel played by Hurman Baweja.

Yogesh, who has been flown in from Chicago by his parents to get married within just 10 days on the advice of the family astrologer, gets responses to his matrimonial advertisement from 165 girls. But since he cannot meet all of them in 10 days, he picks one from each sun sign to meet.

Asked why he didn't pick 12 different actresses for the 12 roles, Gowariker said at a press conference here: "If I had cast 12 different actresses, the audience would have wanted the fairest to win (Yogesh's hand) and thus beauty would have taken importance."

But he didn't want the choice of bride to be made on the basis of the beauty, he said.

"I didn't want beauty to play an important role. When I read the novel, I thought why not have the same girl play the 12 parts? I felt that if I cast 12 different girls, beauty will take precedence. To rule out beauty as a factor, I wanted to assure the audience that Yogesh is going to get the same girl.

"Once you are sure about it, you just sit back and watch how the relationship develops between Yogesh and each girl with a different sun sign, and which sun sign he finally chooses," the filmmaker said.

Gowariker said his film is as much about sun signs and romance as empowerment of India women.

"'What's your Rashee?' may seem a romantic comedy, but layers below it is about the girl getting the chance to speak her heart, and express her desires and ambitions. The film reflects the empowerment of women in India today," he explained.

The director said the film has deepened his interest in astrology.

"Before making this film, I was concerned only with my own sun sign Aquarius. But after the film, I now understand that each sign has its own qualities. My way of looking at even my childhood friends has changed.

"If my friend is a Cancerian, I now take care not to offend him, knowing that his sun sign is the emotional type. So I think in romance and relationships, that extra astrological information can be helpful for more bonding," he said.

The film is set for commercial release Friday. Click the Movie button below for more info:
What's Your Raashee?

Priyanka Chopra Pictures


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