Raj Kumar Gupta, Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee

Two years after directing his thriller Aamir, Raj Kumar Gupta is back with another thriller, No One Killed Jessica. Considering that he took inspiration from a real-life incident for his Rani Mukherjee – Vidya Balan starrer, Raj Kumar acknowledges being careful with the topic. He says, “When I heard the story of Jessica, I knew this could be an interesting story to make a film on. I didn’t want to make a documentary, so it had to be a mix o f fact and fiction. The canvas was very big. Its more about how a tragedy united a country.”

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One look at the promos and Vidya’s sad eyes reach out to you and her desperation is almost palpable. Similarly, Rani Mukherjee seems cut out for the role of the hard-hitting journalist; they seem to have got the casting just right. Did he write Vidya and Rani’s roles keeping the actresses in mind? Raj Kumar shakes his head, “I never write for an actor. First I write, then I cast.” But the director did approach Vidya Balan first, “Vidya was my first choice for Sabrina. Not just because she’s a star, she’s also a sensitive human being and a sensitive actor. Apart from that, she also has a good body of work.”

And what about the foul-mouthed journalist Rani plays in the film? “I needed a character of a journalist: outspoken, headstrong and with a lot of spunk.  I thought Rani fit the bill well. She could bring the character alive.”

Two courageous women in one film, there are a lot of expectations from Raj Kumar. “It’s a tribute to today’s woman,” he smiles.

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