Michelle Yeoh was so impressed with Pankaj Kapoor's performance in Bhawna Talwar's National Award winning film Dharm (2007), that she insisted the director work with him in her next film as well Michelle known for being a part of cinema that aims at making a difference.
Was impressed by Dharm. The film garnered critical acclaim at numerous International film festivals, and a nomination at the prestigious Gucci Group Awards at Venice, where she present in the capacity of a jury member. The actress and the director got chatting and the former Bond girl told Talwar that she was moved by Dharm and Kapoor's powerhouse performance. She urged Bhavna to direct another film soon.
"Bhavna shared the concept of Happi, that Pankaj had discussed with her and wanted her to direct, however she was in two minds about the same. Yeoh loved the story and insisted that the director call him the actor right away and confirm the association with him."
Talwar confirms, "Michelle and I met very casually discussing Dharm and Pankaj Kapoor's performance. She was absolutely in love with the film and in awe of Pankajji's performance. As I happened to mention that Pankajji and she insisted that I call him right then to confirm. Before I knew it, I had woken Pankajji at an unearthly hour at 2.30 am and made him Happi, at Michelle's insistence!"
Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng is a Hong Kong-based Malaysian actress and dancer, well known for performing her own stunts in the action films she does. She is best known for her roles in James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies and the multiple Academy Award-winning Chinese action film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs Of A Geisha. In 2008, the film critic website Rotten Tomatoes ranked her the greatest action heroine of all time.
What's Happi about?
Happi is the story of man whose needs are few, a man who is comfortable being a misfit and refuses to be sad. Happi refuses to be beaten down by the circumstances and his belief in the brighter side of things is re-affirmed when he finds an unlikely companion in a puppy who starts following him and never leaves his side.