Revealed: Anya Singh is the new Yash Raj heroine!

Updated: Dec 08, 2016, 10:56 IST | Mohar Basu

'Daawat-e-Ishq' director Habib Faisal's hunt for the leading lady of his upcoming musical-drama ends with newbie Anya Singh

Anya Singh. Pic/Rohan Shrestha
Anya Singh. Pic/Rohan Shrestha

Bouncing back from the failure of 'Daawat-e-Ishq' (2014), director Habib Faisal is set to roll with his next, shortly. The project has come under the spotlight over the last few months for multiple reasons.

It began with the story being a little too similar to Nikkhil Advani's 'Lucknow Central', starring Farhan Akhtar and Kriti Sanon — about jail inmates forming a rock band. Then, in the wake of the Uri attacks, the production house was rumoured to have dropped leading man, Danyal Zafar (Ali Zafar's younger brother) following a ban on Pakistani artistes in India.

It was only last week that Habib got on board Ranbir Kapoor's cousin, Aadar Jain (son of Raj Kapoor's daughter Rima Jain), to fill Danyal's shoes. Now, Delhi girl Anya Singh has been signed on as the female lead.

Shanoo Sharma, casting director of YRF, which is backing the project, says, "Adi [Aditya Chopra, producer] always pushes me to go out and find new talent. When casting for this film, we were trying to get girls from Delhi, Chandigarh and other cities. Anya was the result of the hunt to find the next Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma. We wanted someone to come out of nowhere, lead regular lives and conquer the industry. Anya filled that spot for me. She came out of nowhere and landed a three-film deal with YRF."

Shanoo had first met Anya at a restaurant about two years ago. "A year later, I was sitting at a coffee shop and she walked in after workout to grab a cuppa. We discussed everything she had been up to in the past year. That very day, I sent her to audition for the part and two rounds later, she was selected. She is the kind of girl I would chat with at a pub, if I bumped into her."

Shanoo adds Habib had shot down hundreds of aspirants before Anya. "She gave a crackling audition. Habib sir said, 'I am liking her, show me more.' She is a bit of a child, but that's what will work in favour of the film's story."

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