Somali American filmmaker Afdhere Jama’s international project Hearts is about gay couples from around the world. The film has been shot in countries like the USA, Germany, Brazil India etc. and has a segment called ‘Mumbaikar’, which makes for the Indian segment of the movie. To play these roles, he picked Nakshatra Bagwe, and Nolan Lewis.
Nakshatra, who is a filmmaker himself and has acted in his own films, was surprised when Jama contacted him on Facebook for the project. “Honestly, I never took his offer seriously until I read the script and met him personally. Offer on Facebook? That too of an international project? Then I read about him and his work, I realized something really great is going to happen for my career. I saw his work and its very different. His themes are unique and involve activism which I appreciate.”
Nolan Lewis on the other hand was just back from participating in Mr Gay World 2013, where Jama noticed him. Nearly ten years after performing in a music video with the Channel V Popstars girl band Viva, Nolan got an offer to return to the screen. “Afdhere, Nakshatra and I discussed “Hearts” over a cup of coffee, one week after I returned back from the pageant and what Afdhere had to offer, seemed like a dream come true!” says Nolan.
Nolan plays an attractive, confident, vivacious young man, not very different from his off-screen persona. Nakshatra on the other hand, plays the role of a casanova, who wakes up one morning with someone special (Nolan), and experiences feelings that he never had before.
The two lead actors had only heard about each other before Hearts. Nolan recalls, “When I met Nakshatra for the first time, there was a lot of tension. I assumed that he would be an uptight pseudo-intellect. But soon I realize how wrong I was! Nakshatra is humble, sweet, and compassionate.” Nakshatra says, “We never met or communicated before this movie. However, we were very comfortable with each other even while doing a shirtless bedroom scene. Now we are good friends.”
Hearts is set to release in 2015, and seeks to break stereotypes about gay men in India and all around the world.