Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

No Potter regrets for director Nair

Mira Nair has no regrets about turning down the Harry Potter job

Mira Nair has revealed that she has "no regrets" about turning down the chance to direct a Harry Potter film, with her son's encouragement.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist film-maker declined the opportunity to direct Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix when she was approached about the fifth film in the wizarding series. David Yates took the job instead.

"I was very happy to be asked to join the ring - my son learned to read from these books. But I was deeply involved in making The Namesake at the time. I was two months before shooting and that was a personal film that was fuelled by melancholy and I was in that state," she explained.

Mira - who has also made films such as Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair and Amelia - asked her son for advice to help her make a decision.

"I asked my son, who was 14 at the time, what I should do and he said, 'Mama, many good directors can make Harry Potter but only you can make The Namesake'. I thought that was pretty remarkable wisdom from a young fellow," she recalled.

The 55-year-old added: "It was very liberating because I wanted to do what I wanted to do, which was another film. (I have) no regrets."

Mira plans to adapt Monsoon Wedding for the stage: "My next plan is to take Monsoon Wedding to Broadway as a big, fat stage musical. We're almost ready to do a workshop of it - we have most of the songs and the book done and I start working on it in September. Hopefully we'll open in spring 2014."

:: The Reluctant Fundamentalist is in cinemas now.

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You can communicate effectively about controversial topics like religion, politics and education. When you talk, people listen. Take this opportunity to lobby for changes to an outmoded institution. Making resources more readily available to the public will be a great use of your time. You're tired of seeing only the most privileged members of the community thrive. Promoting a more democratic approach will cause your stature to rise. Don't be surprised if a group asks you to run for office.More