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Sushmita can barely contain her excitement at the collaboration. “It would’ve been impossible for me to look into all the nitty-gritty. I had to work with people whom I can trust implicitly. Ketan is an extremely capable and clued in man.”
While late Manmohan Desai’s only son, Ketan, will bring his cinematic expertise into Sushmita’s dream project, another Desai, Nitin, is busy designing the elaborate period sets of the film. For the crucial war scenes Sushmita takes her mixed Indo-British crew to China. “The cast will be both British and Indian actors.” The casting of the British actors is currently on. The celebrated British agency William Morris has been employed to find the perfect British actors for the project.
Sushmita who’s currently busy, among other things, brushing up her Urdu diction, says excitedly, “We will stick as far as possible to the language of the characters’ national identity. But we’ve to keep the question of accessibility in mind. The film will therefore be largely in Hindi and Urdu.”
Since Rani Laxmibai’s husband was a man much older than the Rani, there will be no romantic interest for Sushmita in the film. And yes Sushmita will dedicate Rani Laxmibai to her dear friend Rajiv Narayan who died of cancer recently. “They were both such fierce warriors battling their enemies till the very end,” says Sushmita who admits Rani Laxmibai has always been a role model.