I had to go with my heart: Shekhar Kapur on casting ‘unknown girl’ Cate Blanchett for ‘Elizabeth’ despite studio’s reservations


Veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has revealed how a studio had insisted that he cast a star in his Hollywood directorial debut, Elizabeth. He recalled insisting on going with his heart and roping in the "unknown girl" Cate Blanchett back in 1998.

"Elizabeth was my first Hollywood film. I had noticed an unknown girl called Cate Blanchett who I wanted to play Elizabeth. My agent said Studio wanted a star and if I kept insisting on an unknown actor, they will replace me. I said i had to go with my heart. The rest is history," Kapur tweeted.

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Blanchett got global fame for portraying Elizabeth I in the Hollywood drama, for which she won the BAFTA Award as Best Actress and earned her first Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category. Kapur's tweet comes amidst director R. Balki's defence of Bollywoods star kids in the nepotism debate.

"The question is do they (star kids) have an unfair or bigger advantage? Yes, there are pros and cons. But I'd ask one simple question:?Find me a better actor than Alia (Bhatt) or Ranbir (Kapoor), and we'll argue. It's unfair on these few people who're probably some of the finest actors," R Balki recently told Hindustan Times in an interview.

Kapur had earlier tweeted: "Have huge respect for you, Balki. But i just saw Kai Po Che again last night. Three new young actors at that time. And stunning believable performances by each."

Several celebrities in Bollywood have countered Balki's viewpoint, including Kapur, writer-editor Apurva Asrani, filmmaker Onir, and actors Maanvi Gagroo and Avinash Tiwary.