The Dirty Picture is based on the life of the south sensation Silk Smitha. The film stars actress Vidya Balan as Silk Smitha, Naseeruddin Shah and Tusshar Kapoor. The director informs (Mid Day), "Right now, we are in full Chennai mode. Wherever we look, we see people dressed in lungis. Tamil posters adorn our walls. We start our day by having idlis to get into the mode."
Luthria reported that before they recreated the Chennai of '80s his production designers and art team did an extensive tour of Chennai, Mysore, Pondicherry, Ooty and Hyderabad for around two months. They clicked around 2,000 photographs. The team also watched Hindi and Tamil films shot in the '80s. Putting all the colours and flavour The Dirty Picture team tried to replicate the city.
Luthria explained, "It's not possible to shoot a film like this on real location because a lot has changed geographically. You will find new hoardings, building exteriors; malls and multiplexes have come up." The city setup shows huge cut-outs of Naseeruddin, who plays a Tamil movie star of '80s.
They have made old cafes, sari centers, painted old taxis and auto rickshaws, changed the number plates to make it look like Madras, the old Chennai. With experience of a period film Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, Luthria this time is better equipped for The Dirty Picture. Milan is happy and excited about the successful work of the team. He told, “When Vidya walked on to sets, she was zapped. She didn't feel that she was in Mumbai. Even a couple of producers who dropped in were stunned."