Ravi Udyawar, who is making his debut with Sridevi's Mom, says the veteran star's elder daughter Jhanvi suggested Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui's name for the role of the father in the film.
"Jhanvi is the one who recommended Adnan Siddiqui's name while we were casting. We were looking for somebody for a father's role and Jhanvi said, ‘I've seen this actor called Adnan Siddiqui, who has done A Mighty Heart with Angelina Jolie. I had also watched that film, so I looked up for him and we cast him in the film," Udyawar revealed.
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Besides Adnan, Mom also features starlet Sajal Aly as Sridevi's daughter in the film.
"It was amazing working with them (Adnan and Sajal), they are fine actors. It was important to cast the daughter as she had to connect well with Sridevi's character. So, they have done a brilliant job," said Udyawar, who has previously worked as an art director, producer-director on television entertainers and has also directed commercials and music videos.
Mom releasing on July 7 and also features Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna in pivotal roles.
Udyawar says the idea behind making Mom was to "explore the mother-daughter bond and put conflict into that".
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"I really love the intricacies of relations where things are not spoken, but you can feel the problems in it. I am trying to give an answer to the question, ‘What it really means to be a mother?' It's a fictional story, but a relevant story in today's times," he said.
The process of the film's making started in 2014 when Udyawar met Sridevi's husband producer Boney Kapoor.
"We discussed some ideas and I liked one of them which talked about a mother and her daughter. I always wanted Sridevi ma'am as the protagonist and he said, ‘You have to pitch it to her and if she likes it then we will make it.' I showed the script to ma'am and she loved the idea and we started shooting," Udyawar recalled.
How was it working with Sridevi?
"As it was her 300th film and my first one, there was a lot of responsibility looking at the kind of work that she has done. Yes, there was pressure on me, but working with her is amazing," he said.
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"After all these years, even now when she comes on set, she is like a newcomer - as if she is starting it again. She is really excited and enthusiastic about scenes and tries to push her limits as an actress. That's something that we can learn from her.
"She herself is a mother, so I am sure people will connect with her when they will see her. Although it's not her own story, she must have added some personal touch to her character," he added.
Udyawar considers himself "lucky" to have got a chance to work with Sridevi, Nawazuddin and Akshaye in his debut film. He has already started thinking about his next project,
"If given a chance I would love to direct her (Sridevi) again. I will like it if she acts in a comedy film directed by me. That would be great. She has done amazing work earlier in comedy. She is still the same. She is fantastic while doing that," Udyawar concluded.
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