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Xia Yu to romance Shilpa Shetty

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    Chinese superstar Xia Yu reported on the sets of prestigious Indo-Chinese joint venture The Desire in Kollam, Kerala on Wednesday. The Desire, directed by journalist-turned-National award winning Malayalam director R. Sarath, co-produced by Sharad Hegde and Tracy Shiyun; Xia Yu stars opposite Bollywood heroine Shilpa Shetty.

    Xia Yu shot into international fame by winning the best actor award in the Venice Film Festival for his debut film In the Heat of the Sun (Xia was the youngest actor to win this award in the history of the festival), 32-year-old Xia said he is yet to meet Shilpa. However, he has watched some of her films to get an idea of his co-star"s work in Bollywood. “She is very pretty and talented," he added. Xia has acted in more than 20 films so far.

    If reports are to be believed, actress Shilpa Shetty's role is most challenging. Shilpa Shetty will appear with a "totally-shaved" head for some scenes. (The shaved look has been acheived by some remarkable make up.) The director says that The Desire is essentially a passionate film dealing with dance, music, art, culture and emotions. It revolves around accomplished Odissi dancer Goutami (Shilpa) and talented artist Jai Leang (Xia Yu), following the journey of their lives until they are separated and brought together again by destiny.

    Also in the cast are Jayapradha, Anupam Kher, Sachin Khedekar, Sheetal Menon and Nakul Vaid. Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman will score music. Expected to grace theatres in December 2009, The Desire will be dubbed in Chinese as well.

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