In her latest film Panga, director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari collaborated with Kangana Ranaut and Richa Chadha--the two highly opinionated actresses of Bollywood with contradicting political ideologies.
The film tells the story of a retired national-level Kabaddi player Jaya Nigam (Kangana) who plans to make a comeback in the sport at 32 while balancing her personal life. Richa plays Jaya's oldest friend and former teammate, Meenu who helps guide her.
Ashwiny said that she knows Kangana and Richa's political alignments are evidently different from one another, but it can't be the key reason for her to not take them in the same movie.
"The beauty of art is that all kinds of people can work in it. We never bifurcate anyone on a film's sets. Everyone co-exists. Similarly as a creator, I cannot select my actors according to their ideologies. Because art is unanimous and what you do outside art is something...(I don't care)," Ashwiny told us.
"We never looked at the paintings of our greatest painter M.F. Hussain, saying, 'Oh, he belongs to one kind of ideology.' We never did that because that's our art. So similarly, the artistes will always co-exist. And, ideologies cannot become the key reason for us to be choosing whether this actor is going to be there in my film or not. Because they are working for the character in the film and what you do outside is none of my business and what you think outside is none of my concern, too. Because everyone has the right to say as we stay in a democratic country. We have the right to say and behave the way we want to and that's why democracy exists. And, it's important to have two sides because if you do not have two sides then how would you do discussions? Any debate happens because of two sides," the director added.
She further said that it was an absolute delight to work with Kangana and Richa as both are extremely talented actors.
"It was wonderful. I was looking at a set and I was looking at both of them practicing their lines. I didn't look at them-- 'Oh, they have ideological differences.' They were my Jaya and Meenu who enjoyed what they were doing and that's about it. Also, everybody loved food and food doesn't have any ideological differences, so...(laughs)."
Panga, also featuring Jassie Gill, Neena Gupta and child actor Yagna Bhasin, hit the screens today.