With the nixing of Tobey Maguire from the cast of ‘Life of Pi’, Ang Lee has made a deliberate gamble of casting lesser known (at least to the non-Bollywood audiences) actors in the movie. The Hollywood Reporter magazine reported Lee’s statement this month, “To be consistent with the other casting choices made for the film, I decided to go with an entirely international cast. I very much admire Tobey and look forward to working with him again in the future.”
Irrfan Khan and Tabu at the premiere of The Namesake
While it is indeed a bit of a gamble, especially with US audiences, to cast this movie with lesser known actors, many key members of this cast do have solid credentials in Bollywood, and have also ventured into Hollywood. Irrfan Khan, for example, has played roles in Slumdog Millionaire, The Amazing Spiderman, and The Namesake, and is known for bringing out nuances in tough roles. Tabu, who is cast as Pi’s mother, has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, and she holds the record for the most wins of Filmfare’s Critics Award for Best Female Performer, with four. Tabu is best known for acting in artistic, low-budget films that go on to garner more critical appreciation than substantial box office figures. She has acted with Irrfan Khan in The Namesake before, so we look forward to them building on their chemistry.
Life is full of experiments and journeys, as Life of Pi will hopefully show, and we are looking forward to Ang Lee’s mastery when the movie releases in November.
[Featured Image via Life of Pi Official site, Irrfan Khan and Tabu image via Wikipedia.org]