Mumbai, Feb 28 (IANS) Ruslaan Mumtaz, son of the yesteryears' Bollywood super girl Mumtaz, is ready to surf new shores.
British auteur director Christopher Miles, best known for his biopic 'The Priest Of Love' on D.H Lawrence, has cast Ruslaan Mumtaz to play Egyptian pharaoh King Farouk, whose colourful and controversial lifestyle made him the subject of innumerable barbs and raised eyebrows.
Talking about the project, Ruslaan told IANS: 'I had never dreamt of getting the role. After all, King Farouk was Egyptian and I'm an Indian. But the cinematographer of my first film Amitabha Singh, who's also going to be the chief assistant for Miles' project, showed my pictures to the director. He was immediately struck by my physical resemblance to King Farouk.
'He saw my debut film 'Mera Pehla Pyar' and made up his mind. When he flew to Mumbai to meet me this weekend, I couldn't believe it was all happening.'
The film chronicles Farouk's playboy lifestyle and his relationship with a British girl, who will possibly be played by Keira Knightley.
'King Farouk died young, at the age of 45 because of his hedonistic lifestyle. The film will go back to his life at age 21-23. I'm catching up on visual and printed material on Farouk.
'I must say he was quite a cool cat. He loved women and fast cars. So do I! And he'd acquire both in every shape and size. I'd love to do the same,' said Ruslaan.
The actor is preparing for a challenge that would have to equal Ian McClellan's portrayal of D.H. Lawrence in Christopher Miles' biopic.
Miles wanted one final audition with Ruslaan in a moustache before clinching the deal.
'The moustache is easy to grow. Now my real hard work begins. I've been given videotapes of King Farouk to study his body language and facial expressions. I must say I do resemble him quite a lot. But he was bulky, in fact fat.
'I've gone the other way recently and lost a lot of weight. Now I've been ordered to put on weight. So I've to start bingeing. I can't get any luckier. I get a role any Indian actor would kill for, and I get to flirt with flab.'
Ruslaan can't believe what's happening to him.
'Frankly after my debut I just didn't know what to do next. I guess I've 'Miles' to go.'
Ruslaan's next Bollywood work will be in producer Anupam Kher and director Satish Kaushik's movie on teen pregnancy, 'Tere Sang'.