Free Press Journal

Directing Hollywood’s best


The ‘Lunchbox’ filmmaker Ritesh Batra talks about reuniting veteran actors Robert Redford and Jane Fonda after 47 years

After making a critically acclaimed film ‘Lunchbox’, Indian-origin filmmaker Ritesh Batra has reunited Hollywood’s golden couple Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in an age old romance “Barefoot in the Park”. When asked how it was working with such legendary actors, the filmmaker said that it was special experience.

“It was the most wonderful experience I have had. The week before the shoot me Robert and Jane we had a conference in a hotel room and we got to play with the script together. I remember Robert telling me something about a scene and I couldn’t hear him as in my head I was thinking that – I am in a room with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda,” says Ritesh.

Although the veteran actress was miffed with the director for cutting down her sex scenes with Robert. “I couldn’t keep my hands of him (Robert). I was constantly forcing myself on him. In my opinion Ritesh cut the sex scene too soon. But Robert doesn’t like sex scenes, I live for sex scenes with him,” says Jane.

Apart from being a part of some path breaking movies, Robert has also founded the Sundance Film festival, which caters to independent filmmakers and has received recognition from the industry as a place to open films and a chance for new filmmaker to showcase their talent. Robert said when the project came about, he believed it was “a chance to maybe give an opportunity to Ritesh” to make the film.

“As a successful actor I feel better when I can give newcomers an opportunity. I try to do that with Sundance. We had premiered his film lunchbox that he made in India and that is how we got connected to him,” says Robert

Ritesh, known for his critically-acclaimed debut “The Lunchbox” said, “I did it for the honour of working with Robert and Jane.”

The Netflix original drama, directed by Indian-origin filmmaker Ritesh Batra, brings the “Barefoot in the Park” co- stars together after a gap of 47 years. And Jane said that she signed up for this film as she wanted to fall in love with Robert again.

“We had not worked together in 47 years, so I wanted to spend time with him and see what he had become. Plus I wanted to fall in love with him again,” says Jane.

The duo have also worked in “Tall Story” (1960), “The Chase” (1966) and “The Electric Horseman” (1979). The film will be available on Netflix from September 29.