Majid Majidi reveals why Deepika lost out on Beyond the Clouds after audition

Panaji: Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi on Tuesday said he likes to work with newcomers as he believes heroes are to be found in the crowd.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker, who is behind globally acclaimed films such as ‘Children of Heaven’ and ‘The Color of Paradise’, said it was a dream to set a complete film in India and he eventually realised it with ‘Beyond The Clouds’.

The movie opened the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India last evening and is slated to be released next year.

Actor Deepika Padukone had initially auditioned for the movie, but Majidi finally chose newcomer Ishaan Khatter and Malayalam cinema actor Malavika Mohanan.

“I choose my subjects from the society… I choose my heroes from the crowd. I mostly work with newcomers, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t want to work with professional ones,” Majidi said at a press conference on the sidelines of IFFI.

“It was tough to organise things on the sets with a big star. For one day, we organised auditions with Deepika. I remember it was difficult to manage things as people wanted to meet her and were very curious,” he said.

For Tara’s character, played by Mohanan, Majidi said he was inspired by his travels in India.

“In my films, locations have character as well. In this film, I have tried to find a character in the location, which was Mumbai.

“I had travelled (across) India many times before making the film so that was my evaluation of a normal poverty-struck woman. In countries with large population, possibility of women and children having social problems is more and that is was Tara is all about,” he said.

The director is surprised by the popularity of his films in India, particularly among youth.

“It is a wonderful feeling when young generation says good things about my cinema. But at the same time, it is a huge responsibility on me.”

‘Beyond the Clouds’, produced by Zee Studios and Shareen Mantri Kedia and Kishor Arora of Namah Pictures, revolves around the life of a young brother-sister duo from Mumbai.

For the film, Majidi collaborated with an Indian cast and crew. Director Vishal Bhardwaj has written the Hindi dialogues of the film.