Debutant director Anand Rai whose thriller Strangers releases this Friday, has an interesting story to tell. "The script required a kissing scene. I nervously approached my leading lady Nandana Sen and spent some time convincing her. She eventually agreed. How was I to know the objection would come from the other party?"
The film's leading man Jimmy Sheirgill refused to smooch Nandana. "He was adamant. He said he wouldn't have done the film if he knew about the kiss. I had no option but to drop it." Anand is all praise for his cast. "Jimmy is among our most underrated actors. For the other leading man's role I needed a man of a few words. K .K Menon fitted the bill. As for the girl, I needed someone who would look convincing as a girl who has spent all her life in London. Nandana Sen was perfect."
Rai is quite bewildered by reports that Strangers is based in Alfred Hitcock's Strangers On A Train. "I really don't know where that came from. Yes, the film does have Strangers as its title and there's a train running through the plot. But beyond this, my film is as close to Hitchcock as Jimmy Shergill is to Jimmy Mistry. Mine is an original story," the debutant director brags.
Oh yeah? We shall see. Anand shot the film entirely in London. "And not as touristic city. I've gone into lanes and bylanes of London. And unlike other films shot abroad I've even shot the interiors in London." Yes, but Anand couldn't get Jimmy Sheirgil to kiss.