Caught in the ongoing feud between director Rajkumar Santoshi and producer Firoz Nadiadwala over their film Power is B-Town newcomer Lekha Washington. The actress who features in South films was to essay a pivotal role in Power opposite Ajay Devgn. When the film ran into problems, Lekha cut herself from Bollywood.
Power was touted as her big ticket to Bollywood as it starred biggies like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor besides Devgn. To add to Lekha’s woes her earlier film Peter Gaya Kaam Se with Rajeev Khandelwal was also shelved by producers, UTV.
Says Lekha, “Yes, I was extremely depressed when Power was not moving ahead. It was emotionally exhausting for me. I had given a lot of time and energy to it. Things were just not going right even though we had started shooting for it.”
When she realised that the film was not happening, Lekha decided to switch off from Bollywood. “I just did not want to see anyone. I stopped meeting industry people. I cut myself off from everyone. I wanted to go through a healing process.”
Time heals all wounds and when Lekha felt better she decided to go back to doing Tamil and Telugu films. She also branched into the interiors world (for which she has studied) and now runs a studio in Bandra. But acting remains her first love. “It’s been almost three years since Power was announced. It was a big blow to me and I took a long time to recover from it.”
B-Town buzz at that time was that Lekha was apparently Santoshi’s muse. The filmmaker had signed her for a three-film deal. As reported ‘Tripping on three’ (Hitlist, August 26), Santoshi has apparently accused Nadiadwala of not being able to procure Devgn’s dates.
According to B-Town buzz Devgn was apparently not keen to feature opposite Lekha. However Lekha states that acting is what she always wanted to do. She did a cameo in Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. Perhaps she could be third time lucky in Bollywood.