What other things in the film will strike a chord with contemporary viewers, especially younger viewers?
I wouldn't say much about that because I would like the audience to discover that in the film. Because there are certain things that you can't speak about, you know they need to be either written, written down or they need to be expressed on screen. So I would like to have the audience discover that.
Has it all the elements that would interest the one minute generation?
It is completely targeted at youth audiences.
'Hrithik and Aishwarya were my immediate first choices'
How do you say this?
Because it (the film) is from the ages 13 to 28. It is the young Akbar and the young Jodhaa. How post marriage their love develops. I am not going beyond age 28, so it is a youthful romance.
Did you consider someone else for the lead parts besides Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan?
No. I approached them and I was fortunate that both of them agreed. And this is much before Dhoom or Krrish had released.
So why did Hrithik bite? We all know he is famously commitment shy when it comes to doing films. Was it the fact that he was working with Ashutosh Gowariker?
Not only that, but we were very keen to work with each other even during Swades. He was quite interested in this story. I told him what I want to do, how I want to treat it and what I want to do to create the romance. It was an aspect which he had never ever thought about. So he was attracted to the character of Akbar and the way I was looking at it.
So you hooked him with the full script?
No, I just read the story.
Aishwarya also, I just read the story.
Did you speak to them even before you started writing the script and researching the historical evidence?
I had started my research and work on the screenplay had begun.
Also read: Dressing up Jodhaa and Akbar