Available in cinemas now, we caught up with Farzana Dua Elahe to talk about her part in the highly acclaimed ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’. The movie which is produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Juliet Blake, also features Helen Mirren, veteran Indian film actor Om Puri amongst many others.
We asked Farzana to tell us a little about the ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey‘ which is directed by Lasse Hallström.
Farzana told us “It’s a heart-warming story with comedy, passion and fire about two completely separate worlds coming together with food being the centre piece. We have two restaurants that come up against each other and without giving too much away in the end come to possible learn to work together.“
Farzana plays the role of Mahira Kadam, the second eldest in the family. Farzana describes the charector as “the patient soul of the family. Everyone seems to off load on Mahira and yet she is sensitive with her approach to others whereas the rest of the family seem to be very fiery individuals“.
We asked Farzana was it hard to get into the role of Mahira, given that Farzana is this energetic individual and Mahira is the opersite. Fatzana explained “Mahira is very different to me myself, but I also did find it actually quite easy because me, Om (Puri), Manish (Dayal) and the rest of the family we spent some time together and it was quite useful to find the different dynamics of each individual character. I found it quite easy to find Mahira’s place in that as it felt like a real family and it was good and quite fun.”
The Hundred-Foot Journey is based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, Farzana explained she had not read the book “I try not to as you build a world in your head and it’s then hard to let go of that world so I decided not to read the book before I went to work on this movie“.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is based around a clash of cultures between Madame Mallory and Papa. We asked Farzana to explain it to us “They come from two completely different worlds; Madame Mallory comes from this beautiful quite small town. The restaurant is her whole life and papa comes from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai where he had a restaurant and his family. The two worlds are so different in terms of even there approach to how they make food in the kitchen and then how they even serve the food. Things are so different even down to how they communicate, so there is massive culture clash between them.”
Om Puri plays the role of Papa, we asked what Farzana felt he brought to the role. “there is such a strong presence from him on screen and in real life. You want to hear everything that he has to say because you don’t know what he is going to say, that’s the brilliant thing. He is so spontaneous and sometimes so funny and it’s so unexpected, one minute he is so funny the next serious and then back to funny. He is so brilliant and I have learnt a lot from just working with him, he is brilliant.“
Since it’s a movie about food we asked Farzana if she had taken any cooking lessons for the film? Farzana laughed and explained she was the delegated onion chopper but does cook and bake at home. We asked Farzana her favorite dish “I cook quite a few different dishes and don’t have a favourite. I like to bake cakes and carrot cake has to be my favorite kind of cake!“
We asked Farzana if she had to choose between Indian and western cuisine which would it be and why? Farzana said “I couldn’t answer that, I love chips and pizza but I also love a good lamb curry or a good chicken qorma. I am a proper foodie and just can’t pick I love different cuisines.”
To wrap up this interview we asked Farzana to give us one good reason to watch the movie which is out now? Farzana told us simply “It will inspire you to look at food in a different way and make you very hungry for a meal apart from that it’s a really good feel good film that will lift your spirit.“
Catch The Hundred-Foot Journey now in cinemas!