Free Press Journal

I work with stars only if they fit the role: Deepa Mehta

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…and superstar Aaamir Khan is the only one who has managed to collaborate with the filmmaker

Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta says she does not believe in making movies with top actors just to grab the eyeballs. Mehta, who has collaborated with superstar Aamir Khan for “Earth”, Preity Zinta for “Heaven on Earth” and made “Beeba Boys” with Randeep Hooda, says she casts the actors according to the requirement of the role.

“I work with them (stars) only if they are right for the film,”  the 66-year-old filmmaker said. “Like Aamir was right for ‘Earth’, Randeep Hooda was fabulous in ‘Beeba Boys’, Priety Zinta was fabulous in ‘Heaven on Earth’, and so they all were part of the films and not because they are stars,” she says.


“The films are financed by Canadians and I don’t have this thing that I should have star in my film and then only the film will sell. Stop thinking that. I don’t have that thing in me. “They are wonderful stars (but I work with them) if they are right for the role.”

The “Earth” helmer says she catches up on Bollywood films and loved watching Aamir-starrer “Dangal”. Mehta feels though Indian filmmakers are churning out great stories, they are all coming from male directors.

She says there is a lack of women filmmakers, both in India and internationally. “You (India) have wonderful stories but they are all made by guys mostly. Like ‘Trapped’ by Vikramaditya Motwane, then there is ‘Masaan’, ‘Titli’, ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’, it’s so funny, it’s not necessary to have serious cinema always. “You have an amazing cinema, you have great filmmakers and stories here. But there is lack of women filmmakers not just here in India but across the world,” she says.

Mehta lauded the work of Bollywood female directors like Reema Kagti, Kiran Rao and Alankrita Shrivastava. “Here you have Reema Kagti who did the wonderful film ‘Talaash’, Kiran Rao, she did a beautiful film ‘Dhobi Ghat’, and then you have ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, if you ever get to see it. So, there are four-five (women filmmakers) here and there,” she says.