Sonam Kapoor had a surprise visitor on the sets of her upcoming film, Neerja. The actress plays Neerja Bhanot, a flight attendant who gave her life in order to protect 220 passengers on a PanAm plane when it was hijacked by terrorists. Neerja, who was only 22, then posthumously was awarded the Ashok Chakra for her bravery.
Surprisingly, it was the plan of director Ram Madhvani to invite Aamir Khan on the set. Not only him, dignified members of the film industry including Boman Irani, Anil Kapoor, Raju Hirani and Vidya Balan were also there.
Ram said, “I knew that getting Aamir Khan, Boman Irani, Vidya Balan, Raju Hirani and Anil Kapoor to speak to the 220 cast would help instill in the full team the dedication and full effort that this film would require. I am forever in the debt of Aamir Khan, Boman Irani, Anil Kapoor, Raju Hirani and Vidya Balan for so readily giving their time and energy and for supporting us. I could not have asked for a better featured cast, they really gave it their all. My idea of getting the guests worked very well as the entire cast and team gave it their all through full night shoots. Not one person of the 220 people missed a single shoot day even if they were not well. I’m also very touched that Aamir Khan gave the Mahurat shot of our film.”
He also added”We had over 220 featured cast who were the passengers on the plane. These were people who were cast after thousands of tests by our casting director Kanika Berry and her team. To me each and every one of these 220 were one of the most important actors on the film. Years of advertising work has taught me that they were not back ground cast. They were as important for the film as the lead cast. They not only had to act in a believable real way, but we all had to as human beings understand the responsibility of what we were doing. What did the real passengers feel? How did they go through the 16 hour ordeal of being hijacked in the plane? As a director I knew it was critical for the featured cast to get motivated to give the film everything they had emotionally. For them to believe in the film and to do justice to the memory of those who died. Neerja Bhanot (the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra award) gave her life in protecting the passengers.”
The film is being produced by Bling Unplugged and presented by Fox Star Studios.