All set to begin his ‘Dangal’ in the villages of Ludhiana from September 22, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has already shortlisted almost 65 local Punjabi artists, who will be playing various roles in the film.
Apart from this, the auditions for the selection of more local artists including some 20 pehelwaans (wrestlers) will be held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, Ludhiana on Saturday.
Speaking to Indian Express, a source said, “It was economically unviable to call for artists from Mumbai for small roles like that of a barber, shopkeeper, farmer, cobbler and other background artists. Aamir Khan has personally told the team to ensure that locals are hired after screen test and given employment.”
Earlier the Indian Express had reported how local carpenters, masons and labourers were deployed by art and set designing team of Dangal in villages of Guujarwal, Narangwal, Kila Raipur, Dango and Leel where the shooting is scheduled.
“Boys and Punjabi youth from age of 20-50 years, also the kids from 5-15 years and women from 30-45 years of age- are required. They must have Haryanvi looks and healthy bodies as per lifestyle of people in Haryana villages. For wrestlers, we require people with heavy and fit bodies preferably bald with moustaches. However, artists will be shortlisted after proper audition and screen tests,” said a production team member.
Even the villages of Ludhiana in Punjab have been given a complete makeover by team of Dangal- a biopic on wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat from Haryana.
Meanwhile, Aamir Khan visited village Gujjarwal on Friday and met police officials regarding the security arrangements for shooting. Bahadur Singh Saggu, SP Ludhiana rural said, “We have assured Aamir and his team of complete security arrangements during shooting.”
Amritpal Singh, 28, a local farmer and villager from Dango on whose land an akhaada (ring) has been made for shoot, was elated after meeting Aamir personally. “He spent around half an hour with us and said thank you for providing our land. He said that he loves Punjab state and especially the warmth feeling in Punjabi villages. The whole village is ecstatic waiting for shoot to begin.”