Anurag Basu Shares Stories About Rohit & Pearle's Casting in Ludo

Anurag Basu decodes the Ludo metaphor.

2 min read

Anurag Basu's latest film Ludo, which is streaming on Netflix, has been well-received by viewers. The chaos, the humour, the fictional setting - all these elements combined make Ludo a fascinating watch. Basu speaks to The Quint about what gave birth to the Ludo metaphor, how he got together an interesting cast, taking the cinematographer's credit for the first time and more.

Excerpts from the interview:

First of all I want to understand Anurag, what gave birth to the metaphor of Ludo?

Anurag Basu: Ludo, the game. Jokes apart, for the longest time I tried to blend stories of different genres into one thread and make this story. So I gave it a try. And it happened! While writing only, this metaphor of Ludo came into place. What you see all around you comes into place.

So the setting of ‘Ludo’ is fictional and it has such varied topographies that we are free to interpret where the location could be. Why did you choose a fantasy land to set the film in?

Anurag Basu: I wanted to give ‘Ludo’ its own universe. Come to think of it, it’s not that strange also. If you look around Bombay, you go to the outskirts of Bombay you have the same topography. You go to Igatpuri, you see those windmills. And there’s the greenery also. So it’s not a world which we don’t know about.

Let’s talk about the casting Anurag. Like on one hand we have popular faces such as Pankaj Tripathi, Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao. On the other hand we see fairly new faces also, like Rohit Saraf and Pearle Maaney. What went into choosing such an interesting mix?

Anurag Basu: When you are writing the script, it’s becomes all the more easier to write when you have a name or a face to the character. It becomes easier - their behaviour, their mannerisms. Actors bring their own mannerisms into the character, right? So I usually write - maybe this character can be played by this guy - and it’s easy to imagine the character when you are writing the story. And these were the people I wrote in my casting list while I was writing it. Rohit is my daughter’s suggestion. Rohit has a fan base of my daughter’s age. She said, ‘You know, you have met this guy Rohit Saraf’. So, it was Ishana’s suggestion. Pearle’s casting is very interesting. I’ll tell you the story. I haven’t told you the story, Srishti, before. I wanted to cast an actress from the Malayalam industry. So I shortlisted a few names. And I told my assistant, ‘I want to see live interviews of this girl. So there was this link, the live interview of a Malayalam actress, and the actor was Pearle. So I was like, ‘This Pearle’s better! We should call her. Contact this girl. Where is she?’

Watch the video for more.

Editor: Ashish MacCune

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