Mumbai: Ang Lee, who roped in Tabu and Irrfan Khan for his upcoming film Life of Pi, is all praises for the Bollywood actors and said it was a privilege to work with them.
Shot partly in India, Life of Pi is a story of Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) played by debutante Suraj Sharma and later by Irrfan, who stays with his family in Pondicherry and runs a zoo.
The film is a visually stunning tale of Pi who is adrift at sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after his parents - played by Adil Hussain and Tabu - are drowned in a shipwreck.
"It was a privilege working with Tabu and Irrfan. I met Irrfan in New York and asked him if he could be part of the film, he liked the role and agreed. He is a unique actor. It is a great honor to have worked with him," Lee told reporters here during the promotional event of the film.
"I have seen Tabu's work.. she is superb. I have seen a film of hers where she played the role of a cop. I liked her in that. She is like an angel," he said.
In return both Tabu and Irrfan said they felt honoured to be working with Academy award winning director.
"I am fortunate to be part of this film and be working with a director like him. I am happy to be part of a film that has a story of India and an Indian family. I am overwhelmed," Irrfan said.
"It is an honor to have worked with him. I am a fan of his films. I loved Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is like a dream come true to work with him. I am proud to be associated with this film," said Tabu.
Suraj Sharma said he felt grateful to be part of the film.
Lee, alongwith the star cast and Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios, was here to present 20 minutes of unseen scenes from the film to the media and a host of Bollywood celebrities.
Life of Pi 3D releases on November 23 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Life of Pi, a gripping tale of a boy, who is adrift at sea on a lifeboat with a tiger will be the opening film at the 43rd International Film Festival of India, scheduled to be held in Goa next month.
"Life of Pi will be the opening film at IFFI. The film will be premiering on November 20 while the closing film will be Mira Nair's political thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist," Shankar Mohan, Director of IFFI, told reporters here.
"We are in the 100th year of cinema..for us opening and closing films have always been important. We were looking for films that have deep Indian connect. And these two films had it," he said.
The film tells the story of a boy who is left in the sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after his family drowns in a shipwreck.
Starring Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain and debutant Suraj Sharma it releases in 3D on November 23.
"Tabu and Irrfan will be present during the premiere but Lee won't be there as he is not in India. We are happy to have the actors at the festival'' we share good relations with them," Mohan said.