Rohit Shetty to hire South artistes for Chennai Express

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By Hindustan Times

Bol Bachchan has entered the Rs.100 crore club and writer-director Rohit Shetty can now look ahead to more Golmaal. No, he’s not ready to crack Golmaal 4 yet, as he’s still to lock on a script that can take the hit franchise forward. But he is gearing up to board the Chennai Express with
Shah Rukh Khan. Buzz is that Deepika Padukone will be his leading lady. Rohit is non-committal, “No, one has been finalised yet, but now that Shah Rukh is back from London, we’ll take a call. You can expect an announcement in a week.”

More than his heroine, Rohit has a bigger casting call, choosing almost 50 actors who play significant characters in this reel life travelogue.

“Since the film charts a journey from Mumbai to Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu), I want most of the ensemble cast to be from the south film industry. I want actors to look and sound real, not speak south languages in Hindi accents,” reasons Rohit, revealing that to make Singham, set in Maharashtra, more authentic, he had cast 15 Marathi film actors, including Ashok Saraf, Sachin Khedekar, Sonali Kulkarni and Vijay Patkar. “It’s a major task. We’ve been doing our homework well by watching a lot of south films.”

Chennai Express rolls at the end of September and should release mid-2013. Given that the Kolkata Knight Riders will be the defending champions next year, will Rohit pitch his film during the Indian Premier League Season 6? “That’s another decision Shah Rukh will take as a producer,” says the director.

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