‘Mary Kom’ director defends Priyanka Chopra’s casting, cites Amitabh Bachchan’s role as ‘Anthony Gonsalves’

Priyanka Chopra’s culturally inauthentic casting in the sports biopic ‘Mary Kom’ has brought her into the spotlight. Lin Laishram, who co-starred with Priyanka in the film ‘Mary Kom’ praised her hard work but thought the casting was inappropriate.

Omung Kumar, the filmmaker defended his decision to cast Priyanka by citing historical precedents and claimed that he had promoted Manipur in a way that no one else has.

In conversation with Etimes, he said, “An actor can mould themselves into any character and that’s what Priyanka Chopra did beautifully. That’s why the film was so effective.”

“I have promoted Manipur the way no one else has, and I am proud of it. I gave a lot of Manipuri actors inroads to Bollywood through the film. The film’s reach also has to be considered while casting. We did look at a lot of Northeastern actors for the parts played by Priyanka and Darshan Kumaar too but no one suited the role. People think Darshan, who hails from Haryana, was from Manipur (laughs). So, if they suit the part, an actor can play any role. Amitabh Bachchan played Anthony Gonsalves without being Christian. If there is a South Indian character in the film, there’s no hard and fast rule that states we have to cast a South Indian actor only in the role.”

Lin had said to Free Press Journal that, “I admire Priyanka for her hard work, she really put in a lot of hours in order to look like Mary Kom but I always felt that casting is an important step in film. I believe in authenticity and inclusivity, so a girl from Manipur or the North East could have been surely cast to represent us…When it comes to playing an achiever from the Northeast a non-North Eastern person is chosen as seen in Mary Kom. On the other hand, why not cast people from Northeast also as normal Indians in all walks of life which we are.”

Priyanka Chopra, who was born in Jamshedpur, played the Manipuri boxer, and Darshan Kumaar, who was born in Haryana, played her husband, Onler, in the film.

Source link