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'It took me eight months to find the right face'

How did you find your protagonist?

That was a long search. It took me eight months to find the right face.

Did you have any particular face in mind?

I could only think of Padmini of Thillana Mohanambal

. What about Shobhana?

She would have fitted the role maybe ten years ago. I wanted a very young vulnerable and fresh face. I found all that in Aditi Rao Hydari, a student of Leela Samson. I saw her dance at a conference for three days, and then went and asked her if she could do the role. She was diffident initially and said, 'I am scared'. I told her, 'Don't be, we are both first timers'.

It was a very difficult film for anyone to start with. She is not a Tamil speaking girl; she's a half Konkani and half Hyderabadi Muslim Bharatanatyam dancer.

How do you describe your film?

It is not categorised. It doesn't have the tediousness of an art film nor the predictability of a commercial film. It is a feature film.

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