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When Bollywood stars' influence led to other actors' exit from films

As Kareena's decision to star in 'Udta Punjab' has apparently led to Ayushmann's ouster from the film, we take a look at instances when stars may have played a role in showing the door to a smaller actor

Ayushmann Khurrana may maintain that his decision to let go of Abhishek Chaubey's upcoming film, 'Udta Punjab', was prompted by a date imbroglio but buzz is that it was Kareena Kapoor's call.

Kareena Kapoor Khan
Kareena Kapoor Khan

As soon as Bebo gave her nod to the film — starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt — she apparently felt that her pairing with the 'Vicky Donor' actor was not the best bet. It is learnt that Kareena's scenes were mostly with Ayushmann as she will not share screen space with her ex-flame, Shahid, in the film.

Irrfan (left) was apparently keen on Nargis Fakhri (right) as his co-star in Aashish R Mohan’s Welcome To Karachi. The makers wanted another actress and eventually, Irrfan walked out of the film due to creative differences
Irrfan (left) was apparently keen on Nargis Fakhri (right) as his co-star in Aashish R Mohan's 'Welcome To Karachi'. The makers wanted another actress and eventually, Irrfan walked out of the film due to creative differences

Bebo, it is believed, felt Ayushmann looked a tad young for her — and the makers supposedly had no choice but to nod their heads in agreement.

Neil Bhoopalam and Anushka Sharma (left) in the upcoming film NH 10. When Anushka came on board as co-producer, original choice Rajkummar Rao (right) was believed to have been asked to step out of the film
Neil Bhoopalam and Anushka Sharma (left) in the upcoming film 'NH10'. When Anushka came on board as co-producer, original choice Rajkummar Rao (right) was believed to have been asked to step out of the film

Matter of timing
Whether it was a mere coincidence that Bebo stepped in and Ayushmman opted out, or it was the former's undoing, this is not the first time such an incident has unfolded. There are several other instances when leading stars have influenced the casting process, which includes showing the original choice the door.

Ayushmann Khurrana maintains it was a date dilemma that forced him to opt out of Udta Punjab even though buzz is that Kareena Kapoor was not too keen to share screen space with him
Ayushmann Khurrana maintains it was a date dilemma that forced him to opt out of 'Udta Punjab' even though buzz is that Kareena Kapoor was not too keen to share screen space with him

Not the right pitch
When Kareena stepped into Madhur Bhandarkar's 2012 film 'Heroine', her co-star Arunoday Singh was replaced by Randeep Hooda. Arunoday was chosen to play the role of a cricketer in the film when Bhandarkar began shooting with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Ash dropped out of the film as she was in the family way and Bhandarkar went back to his original choice, Kareena. She came on board, but with conditions. She did not want to do intimate scenes with Arunoday, a relatively new actor then. Bhandarkar, however, maintained the role had been tweaked and suited Randeep more. But it did come as a shock to Arunoday.

Arunoday Singh (left) was part of Heroine (2012), but when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stepped out and Kareena stepped in, she apparently got Arunoday replaced with Randeep Hooda (right)
Arunoday Singh (left) was part of 'Heroine' (2012), but when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stepped out and Kareena stepped in, she apparently got Arunoday replaced with Randeep Hooda (right)

Out on the road
When Anushka Sharma came on board for Navdeep Singh's upcoming film 'NH10', she did not restrict herself to being just an actress — she also turned co-producer. The actress then took matters in her own hands and apparently got co-actor Rajkummar Rao replaced by Neil Bhoopalam (who acted in the TV series '24' as Aditya Singhania). The film had been originally announced with Rajkummar and Freida Pinto, but the latter decided to opt out and concentrate on her Hollywood calling. B-Town tongues set wagging about Anushka's decision to replace Rajkummar even as he bagged the National Award for Best Actor for Shahid.

Kunal Roy Kapur (left) was to feature in Ashish R Mohan’s upcoming film Welcome to Karachi, but when producer Vashu Bhagnani stepped in, so did Arshad Warsi (right), leading to Kunal’s ouster
Kunal Roy Kapur (left) was to feature in Ashish R Mohan's upcoming film 'Welcome to Karachi', but when producer Vashu Bhagnani stepped in, so did Arshad Warsi (right), leading to Kunal's ouster

Unwelcome move
Aashish R. Mohan (who had earlier directed the 2012 Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Khiladi 786') had originally signed on Irrfan and Kunal Roy Kapur for his upcoming film, 'Welcome To Karachi'. When producer Vashu Bhagnani came on board, he was keen on Arshad Warsi in place of Kunal. So, Kunal was ousted and Arshad stepped in. This also meant altering the script to give Arshad a bigger role. This did not go down well with Irrfan. Besides, Irrfan was apparently keen that Nargis Fakhri be cast as the female lead, while the makers had another actress in mind. Irrfan wanted to be in the loop about who would be his co-star. Eventually, Irrfan had to step out of the film and Jackky Bhagnani replaced him.

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