After locking in Ugly actor Rahul Bhatt (not Mahesh Bhatt's son) for a Devdas-inspired character in Pyaas, Sudhir Mishra has finally found his leading ladies in Richa Chadda and Aditi Rao. The characters of Richa and Aditi are inspired by Devdas' Paro and Chandramukhi respectively.
Shooting began in Lucknow (where the film will be shot in its entirety) and the schedule is expected to last three months.
The film, which has been talked about for years now, reportedly had names like Lara Dutta and Chitrangada associated with it. Last heard, Kajal Aggarwal was on board. Prior commitments in Tollywood have been cited as a reason for the 'Singham' actress opting out. Her exit paved the way for Aditi Rao to take over as Chandramukhi.
A source close to the project maintains, "Richa fit the bill as far as the requirements for Paro went - he wanted someone fiery, yet dignified. And having worked with Aditi in 'Yeh Saali ZIndagi', he was aware that she is a trained Indian classical dancer and would be perfect as his Chandramukhi. Also, he had a particular personality and look in mind for both roles."
For the role of the modern-day Devdas, however, Bhatt was Sudhir's first and only choice after being 'blown away' by his performance in Anurag Kashyap's 'Ugly', says the source.
In a recent interview, Sudhir admitted that the film, "a political thriller with very strong romantic angles to it" was his "tribute to Devdas" but added that it owed as much to the "influence of William Shakespeare" on him "in the Indian political drama" maintaining that it was "certainly not a remake of Devdas".