Mira Nair to shoot in Delhi if Pak refuses permission

“They haven’t given me permission yet, and if they don’t, Lahore will be recreated here in Delhi where the streets are similar,” Nair said at the Goa film festival where she turned up on Tuesday for a reunion of sorts with a part of her cast from the 1989 ‘Salaam Bombay’.

Hamid’s 2007 Booker-nominated novel, a monologue between a disillusioned US-educated Pakistani, Changez and an unnamed American has all the ingredients of a post-9/11 thriller. Nair says it offers her “a great opportunity to look at the terrorism issue from the South Asian point of view” as opposed to the Western interpretation. “Islamaphobia that is so dominant now in the West has to be countered.”

Half the film will be shot in India – if not in Pakistan – and parts of it in New York and Chile. Nair is still scouting around for an Indian actor to play the lead role of Changez – she denied Shahid Kapoor was in the running. The American characters will have ‘A’ list Hollywood actors in the roles.

Hamid who has co-scripted the screenplay for the film has made suitable changes from the novel’s story to suit Nair’s style.

“He jokes that his story is being turned into the ‘monsoon terrorist’, but we wanted to show that the Muslim world is not male-dominated,” Nair said.

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