Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cultural confusion is a two-way street

Put a newly arrived Canadian family under the same roof as a wily Indian cook and what you get is Cooking With Stella, a spicy comedy that pokes gentle fun at culture and class differences.

You may also end up with a raging appetite. "I hope you love the film ... and even if you don't, I can guarantee you one thing: by the end of it, you'll be hungry. People always are," said director Dilip Mehta, an acclaimed photojournalist who co-wrote the script with his more famous sister, director Deepa Mehta.

The film stars Don McKellar as a stay-at-home dad and chef who enlists the help of Stella (played by Seema Biswas) to teach him south Indian cooking while his diplomat wife works at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi.

For McKellar, the role of Michael had some interesting parallels with real life. He was working in New Zealand when contacted by Deepa Mehta, who asked him to read the script, then offered him the role just 12 days before shooting began after the previous choice for the role – another Canadian – was dropped from the project. "The fact it was so sudden ... scared me at first. But then I thought it would work for the part and it did because I'd never been to India, had always wanted to go and sort of romanticized it in my head, like the character," McKellar said.

Full report here The

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