Hollywood biopic on Mother Teresa
Aug. 29, 2013
A Hollywood biopic on Mother Teresa will hit the international screens in March next year. The Letters is an independently produced feature film based on the real-life letters Mother Teresa wrote to a longtime spiritual director over the years. Written and directed by William C. Riead, film stars Juliet Stevenson of Bend It Like Beckham fame in the lead role of Mother Teresa. The other iconic names are Max von Sydow who has shared screen presence with the likes of Ingrid Bergman, and Golden Globe award winner Rutger Hauer.
Another iconic name associated with the film is that of the DOP of the film, Jack Green, who has been Clint Eastwood's longtime cinematographer. Apparently Mother Teresa used to slip out of her Cloister to help the poor people against the rules. The film is said to be a labor of love and passion for William who sold his house to make this film. "Working with William Riead and Jack Greene was an unbelievable experience and of course the hugely talented Juliet Stevenson was just such an honor!" shared Mahabanoo, who portrays the role of Mother General, in between shuttling continents.
She gushes about the professional and easy-going nature of the Hollywood directors vis-a-vis the scene at Bollywood where there's so much of secrecy regarding scripts and non-disclosure issues. Interestingly her son Kaizaad Kotwal (of Inkaar fame) too has a role in the film. He plays the Archbishop of Calcutta, Archbishop Perrier. Sharing about how he landed the role Kaizaad said, "We auditioned in early 2012 and the shooting was done in Goa. William spoke to us over Skype and we were on!"
Among the other prominent names is Kolkata girl Tilottama Shome, who recently grabbed eyeballs with her performance in Q's Tasher Desh, who plays the role of Kavita. Sharing details about her role Tilottama said, "I play this woman who is antagonistic toward this strange foreign lady and how a very human, intimate contact leads to a change of heart. For me the experience of working in this film goes beyond the filming. Having been a Kolkata girl I have grown up knowing about Mother Teresa.” “What really made me think in this movie is how we live in our respective factions and groups, suspicious and antagonistic toward the 'other'. I like doing films that make me think. And the best part of working on Letters was its amazing international and Indian cast. Juliet Stevenson was a gift to watch," she added.
The film is shot mostly in Goa and at the Vatican. Kolkata apparently missed the bus due to its infamous image of being chaotic and having issues over permits. The outdoor shots of the city were taken and the indoors were replicated in Goa.
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