Mira Nair was looking for "worldliness", hence rejected Ranbir Kapoor

Mira Nair Ranbir Kapoor

Renowned filmmaker Mira Nair chose Pakistan-born Riz Ahmed over Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor to play the protagonist in The Reluctant Fundamentalist as she was looking for "worldliness" in the character.

Directed by Mira Nair, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is based in three cities - Delhi, Lahore and New York.

The film has been adapted from the cult 2007 novel by Mohsin Hamid about the tragic fall of a Pakistani youth because of love.

Mira did not cast Ranbir Kapoor in spite of having auditioned him for the role of the protagonist in the movie.

Ranbir Kapoor was auditioned for the role of protagonist "Changez" in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which ultimately went to the Pakistan-born Riz Ahmed.

"For The Reluctant Fundamentalist I had auditioned Ranbir Kapoor. He is an amazing actor. But the role needed worldliness which I found in Riz Ahmed. You can make the talent do a lot of things but you cannot direct intelligence," Nair said.

The character goes from the streets of Lahore, studies at an university in US, epitomises the American dream as Changez goes up to achieve success on the Wall Street and also loves Kate Hudson. There were many facets involved, she said.

"I think Indian actors whenever they portray the role of NRIs they fake it... they cannot get it right," she said. Even Imran Khan had auditioned for film but couldn't make it.

Pakistan-born Riz Ahmed made the cut after an over two years search as he possessed the right qualities which the character needed as he was born in Pakistan, lived in England and is also an active rapper, Nair said.

The film will release next month in the sub-continent.

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