Longinus Fernandes as choreographer in ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’


gereThe production on a sequel to the British feelgood hit from 2012, ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is officially under way in India, with Fox Searchlight once more backing the enterprise, and the first film’s Oscar-nominated director John Madden (‘Shakespeare in Love’) back behind the film as its Director and Graham Broadbent as Producer.
Most of the original ensemble is also back on board, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Tena Desae, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and Penelope Wilton. There are, however, three high-profile new recruits: Richard Gere, Oscar nominee David Strathairn and the dependably excellent Tamsin Greig.
“It was indeed an honor working with an ensemble cast like these profound personalities,” says Longinus Fernandes, who is the choreographer of the movie. “I was excited working with Dev since ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’ Dev has matured as an overall performer for sure and a dancer as well,” observes Longi (as he is affectionately called).
Where the first film was based on a popular novel by Deborah Moggach, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold 2’ – as it’s currently titled – is based on an original story by Madden and returning screenwriter Ol Parker.
The new film finds the original gang still in residence at the eponymous Indian hotel run by a soon-to-be-married Sonny (Dev Patel), with Smith’s crotchety Muriel newly installed as co-manager. More romantic complications ensue amid the group, with Gere and Greig playing newly arrived guests vying for a single vacancy. Gere’s character is called Guy, so one good creative decision has already been made.
“It is a rare kind of experience working with John Madden, who is a through gentleman who is keen to know everything in detail,” says Longi. “Interactions with Gere, who is down to earth is another never forgettable experience,” he adds.