The PK actor dropped by on the sets of the upcoming biopic...
Sonam Kapoor, who is essaying the role of Neerja Bhanot, was in for a surprise when Aamir Khan dropped by on the sets of the film Neerja. Directed by Ram Madhvani, Sonam plays the role of Neerja Bhanot, the daredevil flight attendant of PanAm, who lost her life trying to save the lives of passengers from terrorists on board the hijacked PanAm Flight 73 on September 5, 1986. Neerja posthumously became the youngest recipient of India's highest civilian award for bravery, The Ashok Chakra. She was only 22 when she passed away.
Director Ram Madhvani, said, "We had over 220 featured cast who were the passengers on the plane . These were people who were cast after thousands of tests by our casting director Kanika Berry and her team. To me each and every one of these 220 were one of the most important actors on the film . Years of advertising work has taught me that they were not back ground cast. They were as important for the film as the lead cast . They not only had to act in a believable real way , but we all had to as human beings understand the responsibility of what we were doing . What did the real passengers feel ? How did they go thru the 16 hour ordeal of being hijacked in the plane ? As a director I knew it was critical for the featured cast to get motivated to give the film everything they had emotionally . For them to believe in the film and to do justice to the memory of those who died . Neerja Bhanot ( the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra award ) gave her life in protecting the passengers .
Added Ram Madhvani, "We began by doing workshops. Headed by my associate director Vinod Rawat . On our first day of shoot we were blessed by Neerja's mother and brothers who came to light a Diya in Neerja's memory. Neerja's mother inspired all of us by her courage and spirit . Then came the guests who were all friends and family of ours and people who I respect a lot , and of course great actors / directors, all of them . They were there to inspire us as we embarked on this journey. They spoke to all the featured cast to make them feel what this film is about .Sometimes we were shooting very long takes and it was very helpful that Sonam is a trained actor and began in the theatre. It is very important for an actor to get the right energy from her co actors . All 220 featured gave Sonam the right energy for her to breathe life into the role. I knew that getting Aamir Khan, Boman Irani, Vidya Balan, Raju Hirani and Anil Kapoor to speak to the 220 cast would help instill in the full team the dedication and full effort that this film would require. I am forever in the debt of Aamir Khan, Boman Irani, Anil Kapoor, Raju Hirani and Vidya Balan for so readily giving of their time and energy and for supporting us . I could not have asked for a better featured cast , they really gave it their all . My idea of getting the guests worked very well as the entire cast and team gave it their all thru full night shoots . Not one person of the 220 people missed a single shoot day even if they were not well. I'm also very touched that Aamir Khan gave the Mahurat shot of our film."
Presented by Fox Star Studios, Neerja is produced by Atul Kasbekar's Bling Unplugged.
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