In advance of tomorrow’s opening of Tom Tykwer’s film A Hologram for the Kingco-star Sarita Choudhury stopped by Deadline’s Tribeca Film Festival Studio to discuss her work on the project. But one of the intriguing takeaways from our conversation was how she came very close to landing her first film role in a Federico Fellini project before 1991’s Mississippi Masala. At the time, Choudhury was living in Italy, and the meeting was encouraged by her mother. “Fellini made me believe you can knock on a door, but you have to know what door to knock on,” says Choudhury.

A Hologram for the King tells the story of Alan (Tom Hanks), a failed businessman whose last shot at redemption lies in selling a hologram to the Saudi Arabian king. It’s during this life funk that he meets Zahra (Choudhury), a doctor who “rides the line between tradition and freedom,” says the actress. While it’s easy for Alan to unload his woes to Zahra, it’s unusual for a man to do so in Saudi Arabai since “it’s not part of their culture,” says Choudhury. Zahra winds up becoming something more for Alan. A Hologram for the King opens Friday in 402 theaters from Roadside Attractions.