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Exclusive: Here’s how Tejas Deoskar got Madhuri Dixit on board for first Marathi film


The filmmaker believes it won't be right to call the film Dixit's Marathi film debut.

Madhuri Dixit

Keyur Seta

Fans of Madhuri Dixit were delighted to know recently that she would be seen in a Marathi film for the first time. The film, which is untitled at the moment, will be directed by Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar. In an exclusive chat with Cinestaan.com, the filmmaker explained how Dixit agreed to do the film.

First, Deoskar doesn’t want the film to be called Dixit's Marathi debut. “Actually, calling it her Marathi film debut is unjustified," he said. "She has done so many films. I feel instead of Marathi debut we should say she is coming back to her roots.”

Deoskar said Dixit didn’t do a Marathi film all these years simply because she didn’t get an exciting offer. “She told me that she never felt she should not work in Marathi," he said. "It’s just that until she got a good script in Marathi, she wasn’t going to do it. She decided to do a Marathi film now because she got a good script. I don’t think she was never approached for a Marathi film before.”

Without divulging the story, Deoskar said the film is the "journey of self-discovery of a woman. It’s a slice-of-life drama with slight humour. It’s a simple film.”

Deoskar had written the film keeping Dixit in mind. “Right from the beginning she was our only choice,” he said. Asked what he would have done if Dixit had rejected the film, he said, “I would have kept this film aside. I can’t see anyone else in this script.”

He was amazed by the actress’s humility considering her star status: “She is too professional. Despite being such a big star, her approach is very easygoing, accommodating, cooperative and supporting.”

Deoskar revealed how they went about approaching Dixit. “We went through a very formal channel," he said. "We didn’t know anyone. She has a team that scans scripts and if they like it they escalate it to Madhuriji. We pitched our content and her team selected it. We then narrated the script to Madhuri. And after two readings and a couple of weeks, she liked it and agreed. We were able to narrate the script because she liked the story.”

Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar

Deoskar credits his co-writer for getting Dixit on board. “Devashree Shivadekar, my co-screenplay and dialogue writer, also deserves credit," he said. "She and I have worked on the script for 5-6 months. We brought the script to such a level that Madhuri gave her go-ahead. We haven’t done many alterations after the readings.”

Deoskar is overwhelmed that Dixit agreed to act in his film purely on the basis of the script. “We don’t have any personal connections with her," he said. "Also, we don’t have a godfather. This project is happening purely on the basis of the script. Otherwise, for her I am just a two-film-old filmmaker. I am relatively new.” Deoskar has previously made Ajinkya (2012) and Premsutra (2013).

“We go on the floors at the end of this year. The film will be released in the summer of 2018,” he said.

Vivek Rangachari and Arun Rangachari of Dar Motion Pictures and Ashok Subhedar and Aarti Subhedar of Blue Mustang have joined hands to produce the film. “When a mega star acts in a regional film, we need to manage a lot of things," the director said. "Their protocol and way of working is different. To manage all this, we need powerful producers. To work in Marathi with such a big artiste is like an adventure for them. You have added responsibilities. She has a big legacy that needs to be maintained.”

Deoskar believes they are all a part of history already. “The film will be a milestone in the Marathi industry as this is her first Marathi film. So, after 100 years, if someone asks which is Madhuri’s first Marathi film, the answer is going to be this film. So, we are all going to be a part of that history. It’s a great thing for me to get support from these people.”

The filmmaker promised that Dixit wouldn't be the only stellar name in the cast: “We have done some casting. We will reveal it in due course. But we can assure you that we have a stellar cast. People will love to see all these actors together on screen.”