By Shama Bhagat
We have often heard of how filmmakers visualize the cast of their films.
Some directors even admit that they had a Shah Rukh Khan or a Salman Khan or some other star in their mind, while working on the script of a film. They confess that if a particular star whom they had visualized in the film’s story, didn’t accept the offer, they perhaps would not have made the film at all.
But have you ever wondered how they go about casting animal characters for their films?
Writer-turned-directors Sajid and Farhad, who are working on the upcoming film, It’s Entertainment with Akshay Kumar and Tamannah in the lead, had a tough time finding the right dog, who plays a significant part in the story, for their film.
The director duo, who have written for films like Bol Bachchan, Housefull 2, Ready, Goldmaal Returns and Golmaal 3 in the past, didn’t want an ordinary dog for their directorial debut film. They wanted a trained golden retriever who can really act in front of the camera.
Several dogs were brought to them by the casting directors and all the dogs were subjected through a series of rigorous dog tests (as in screen tests) for their film, but in vain. All of them failed the screen test and had to be rejected.
So, the desperate directors flew to Bangkok to look for their ‘actor’. There they finally managed to find a dog as which matched their description.They ‘signed’ the golden retriever as one of the stars in the film.
Curious, I asked them what is so special about this dog they found in Bangkok.
Director Farhad tells me, “These dogs are trained extensively. They are perfect and kept in hygienic conditions. As for the acting bit, you will see it on-screen.”
Their happiness at finding the perfect ‘dog’ was short-lived had as they discovered that dogs did not understand any other language except Thai (the one spoken in Bangkok). Directors Farhad and Sajid had to loosen their purse strings and hired the trainer as well.
Guess what, the dog turned out to be the bratty star on the sets.
Says Sajid, “All our cast, including Akshay Kumar and Mithun Chakraborty, would be ready waiting on the sets and he (the dog) would take his own time to be on the sets. Sometimes he would fall asleep or not be in mood to perform. Fortunately our stars understood our woes and all of them waited patiently for him to perform.”
The outcome of the shoot was that the directors, who were not animal lovers prior to the shoot, are now canine lovers.
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