Battle of the belles: B-Town catfights over plum roles
So who will be Hrithik Roshan's heroine in Ashutosh Gowariker's upcoming film, 'Mohenjo Daro'? Ever since the filmmaker finalised his hero for this slice-of-history project, every other B-Town actress has been claiming (or is it, clamouring?) to have been approached for the love story.
Kareena Kapoor (left) and Sonakshi Sinha are rumoured to be in contention over the lead role in Ashutosh Gowariker's upcoming film, Mohenjo Daro.
From Katrina Kaif to Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor — they have all been apparently approached for this film that is named after the largest settlement of the ancient Indus Valley civilisation in 2600 BC. Some of the stars are said to have even turned down the offer.
Meanwhile, Sonakshi Sinha met the filmmaker evincing interest in the project. There has also been buzz about Anushka Sharma meeting Gowariker in a bid to increase her chances of bagging the project. Though, of course, Anushka's spokesperson denies this. "There is no truth to it," is the stance.
Then again, this is not the only film where actresses are said to be vying against each other for a plum role. There was similar buzz about who will be Salman Khan's heroine in Sooraj Barjatya's 'Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo' with every actress — big and small — being considered for the role.
Nowadays even before the film goes on the floors, it has created a buzz for its casting. Says a source, "Till the filmmaker officially announces the cast, several names keep doing the rounds. Often a filmmaker does not deny the news so as to not upset anyone. For an actress, it may be her way of being wanted and be part of the one-upmanship game vis-à-vis her rivals. At times, names are floated by those close to the actress — it is their way of keeping them in the fray of big ticket films."
Interestingly, Gowariker has preferred to keep mum so far. Meanwhile, we will keep a count of who else is claiming to have been approached.
Industry watcher Taran Adarsh states, "Casting issues are becoming a trend nowadays. A filmmaker may want a different combination of actors and may approach them. If it is a period drama, he could do costume trials. But all this does not mean that they are in the film. A filmmaker may have his shoot schedule in place, but the actor may not be available at that time. Or else an actor may get another offer in the meanwhile and he/she may decide to take on that project."
In the past
In 2012, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali was all set to make Ram-Leela with Kareena Kapoor. After Bebo decided to drop out, a surprised Bhansali announced, referring to her wedding with Saif Ali Khan later that year, that his Juliet could not be a married woman.
Not surprisingly, as soon as Bebo backed out, other B-Town actresses eyed the role. There was a buzz about Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor trying to stake a claim, although it was Deepika Padukone who ultimately bagged the role. Another project of Bhansali's that has been in the planning stage for over a decade is Bajirao Mastani. Several actresses — including Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra — were allegedly offered the role of Mastani but now apparently Deepika has been finalised.
Karan Johar's long-in-the-planning film, Shuddhi, has made enough news about its casting. When original choice Kareena Kapoor opted out, names of Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra did the rounds.
Starring with Salman
As soon as Sooraj Barjatya announced his Salman Khan-starrer, Prem Ratan Dhan Payon, there was a lot of speculation about who will feature in the film.
Finally, Sonam Kapoor's name was announced. Given that Barjatya and Sallu are teaming up 15 years after their last outing, Hum Saath Saath Hain, there was understandably a lot of curiosity about the project. The film is supposed to go on the floors in the last week of June.
Sonam Kapoor, Ileana D'Souza, Daisy Shah, Diana Penty and Elli Avram
From Kareena Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Deepika Padukone to Ileana D'Souza, Daisy Shah, Diana Penty and even Elli Avram — they were all allegedly considered at some point of time for this long-in-the-planning film. Whether they were really considered or the names were just tossed around is anybody's guess.
Abhishek's wait for his heroine
Director Umesh Shukla's last film OMG: Oh My God! did not have an actress. For his next project, All The Best, starring Abhishek Bachchan, several names were supposedly in the fray.
Abhishek Bachchan and Asin
Many are said to have been approached; some were apparently given a hearing of the script. In fact, Shukla's hunt for an actress opposite Junior Bachchan created more buzz than the film itself till Asin was roped in. Among the actresses rumoured to star in his film was Diana Penty. She was apparently given a narration of the script, but she did not sign on the dotted line. Buzz about her being Abhishek's heroine gained credence when Junior Bachchan posted on his micro-blogging site at that time, "Guys, show the love to @_dianapenty welcome to the chaos D!" It was assumed that he was welcoming her on Twitter because she was chosen to act opposite him.
Apparently, Shraddha Kapoor too had turned down this role in favour of Mohit Suri's film, Ek Villain, opposite Sidharth Malhotra.