SIKANDAR has hit the screens and has seen mixed reviews coming its way. However, writer-director Piyush Jha continues to stand by his film as well as actors. He explains the reasons behind selecting Parzan and Ayesha in the lead roles and how newcomer Arunoday Singh (who has created an instant impression in a relatively shorter role) could well be the superstar of tomorrow.
You chose Parzan and Ayesha as the lead protagonists for your films. Were they your first choices?
''Absolutely yes, both of them were my first choices. In fact Parzan was chosen more than two years back itself. I had to rope in someone who had an earlier experience of facing the camera and understood the nature of film making. Since the film was to be shot quickly in 30-35 days period, I needed someone who had acted before. I had seen him on TV earlier and through his ads, I could sense that he could pass off well as a Kashmiri boy even though he in real life he is a Parsi. I still auditioned him though and he turned out to be the best fit for the role'', says Piyush.
Regarding Ayesha's selection in the project, Piyush explains, ''We all have seen her in BLACK and her face itself gives you a feeling that she can convey a lot a lot without saying too much. She instantly agreed to do the film and so did Parzan. Once I had them both on board, I didn't have to look elsewhere. Both of them are amazing performers and so mature with their acts. Even though they are playing 14 year olds in the film, they are unlike regular teenagers. Both of them carry the film on their shoulders and worked really hard on the film. I am glad I found them since they just threw themselves into the role.''
He was sure that the film necessitated an ensemble treatment and this is the reason why he didn't hesitate in approaching Madhavan and Sanjay Suri.
''They knew from the very onset about their role and also the fact that they would not be relegated to periphery'', says Piyush, ''And then there is Arunoday Singh, who has made his debut with the film. He has a very key role in the film. Mark my words; I am so sure that he would be a superstar one day. He comes with those traits and his personality is such that he is bound to be noticed. He was involved in theatre in USA and England and wanted to come to India and try his luck. He too was auditioned and found perfect for the part. He is indeed one of the most promising newcomers that we would be seeing in coming months.''