In September 2016, rumours were rife that Kriti Sanon was the leading lady of Nikkhil Advani’s next production, Lucknow Central, which marks the directorial debut of Ranjit Tiwari, with Farhan Akhtar in the lead. The film is inspired by a true story of convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the Lucknow Central Jail, who start a band and discover pride, self confidence and a reason to wake up every morning.
But within a month, Diana Penty was on board to play the NGO worker who puts the prisoners on the path of reform. Diana, who made her Bollywood debut in Homi Adajania’s Cocktail, shrugs off queries about how she came to replace Kriti saying it’s insignificant. “It all happened within three days of my meeting with Nikkhil and him briefly telling me about the film. His brief immediately piqued my interest and I agreed to meet Ranjit the next day for a complete narration. Once I heard it, I knew this was a story I wanted to be part of.
We did a reading the day after and before I knew it, I had landed the role and was shooting for the look test,” recalls the actress, who will be seen in salwar-kameez, long skirts and cotton trousers. During the look test, she met Farhan for the first time and admits they didn’t interact much during that meeting. But the second time, the whole cast came together for a reading and it was easier.
“I have always respected him as an actor, director, writer, musician and producer. I have so much to learn from him. He’s one of the reasons I said yes to the project,” she acknowledges. Apart from Farhan, the film also features Ronit Roy and Gippy Garewal. While Ranjit was keen to shoot inside the real Lucknow Central Jail, they did not get permission.
Source: Ahmedabad Mirror