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A Bipartisan Romantic Comedy

August 26, 2011

As Anna Hazare continues his non-violent, civil disobedience fast against corruption back in my Mother India, and as America continues its own special brand of "politi-tainment", I'm happy to at least have been a part of something that attempts to bring people together like the bipartisan romantic comedy, Politics of Love. Believe it or not, this is less a plug than a comment on our times.

"Open their mouths with laughter, and shove the truth down their throats." That quote's been attributed to many different people, most notably George Bernard Shaw and some guy named "Anonymous". Our first review for the film in the Los Angeles Times seems to have gotten what the team was trying to accomplish: "Clever & lively... an encouraging accomplishment... Politics of Love emerges as an amusing entertainment."

The producers came up with the idea after reading a slew of publicly documented electoral love stories that sprung up during the last presidential campaign and realized that they couldn't find another film that had ever been made directly about the subject of a Democrat and Republican love story. They say they also wanted to put a spin on the story by making the lead male character an African-American Republican, another first in film history we found out.

As a multicultural film that represents today's America, which was particularly evident during the 2008 election, I'm told it's been a long time since both African-American and Indian cultures were represented in an American film, especially one that's set in the all-inclusive world of politics.

Gary Goldstein, a rom-com screenwriter and political buff, wrote a great script and the team met with McCain campaign chief Steve Schmidt, "Yes We Can" viral video creator Jesse Dylan, politically active hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and other Republican and Democratic political consultants to garner insiders' perspectives.

Even former President Bill Clinton lent me some advice, saying, "Try to make it balanced, represent both sides." (Is that what the Clintonian word "triangulation" is all about?)

When they approached me for the female role, I was sold when they said my character was loosely inspired by California Attorney General Kamala Harris (who is half Indian and half African-American). Casting heartthrob Brian White as the Republican male lead was a no-brainer. That guy has some serious skills. And of course, working with the legendary Ruby Dee, powerhouse Loretta Devine and veteran director Bill Dear are definitely career highlights for me. I was really very excited by the script, and the team itself behind the production demonstrates that cinema can bring together people from diverse backgrounds for a project with commercial appeal.

Just months after principal photography ended, I met President Obama twice and he remarked that he looked forward to being invited to the premiere. Well, consider this your invitation, Mr. President!

Courtesy of huffingtonpost.com