Thursday, 26 May 2011
How Sridevi was instrumental in getting south superstar Nagarjuna into Khuda Gawah when Sunjay Dutt left the movie.
NAGARJUNA IN KHUDA GAWAH
The case over who'd replace Sunjay Dutt in Khuda Gawah is finally over, director Mukul Anand and producer Manoj Desai flew to Hyderabad to get popular South star Nagarjuna to sign on the dotted line. But not without a bit of drama, caused, as Mukul puts it, "by a certain camp which seems to be specialising in manipulations and cross-legging. A distributor was even persuaded to rush to Nagarjuna to tell him that Sunjay had not left the film, and that the impression was being created to con the young South star to sign a bit role." But when Mukul showed Sunjay Dutt's letter to Nagarjuna, he was convinced. But he still had some doubts about the role. "So I showed him parts of the film - including all the scenes shot with Sunjay," says Mukul, "and he (Nagarjuna) instantly agreed to do the film."
Adds Mukul, "The canard spread by Sunjay that his role was being sacrificed to boost Bachchan's is totally unfounded. It's a very interesting role, or else a choosy guy like Nagarjuna, who has turned down dozens of others after Shiva, wouldn't have accepted it. He isn't the kind who'd accept just any role. He has ample resources to do only those films which he wants to."
The meeting ground for the deal was created by Sridevi, who is working in a Telugu film with Nagarjuna. "She had spoken to him about the film, and she inititated a meeting between us. She introduced me to Nag and withdrew from the scene," says Mukul. Sridevi, who plays a double role in Khuda Gawah, seems to be immensely pleased with the manner in which the film has shaped, and is very keen on its early completion.
Many second-line actors and promising newcomers had been making a beeline for the role after Sunjay Dutt's abrupt decision to quit the film after shooting for it. The actor Mukul was keen on for the role was Jackie Shroff, but Jackie wanted to avoid walking into a controversial situation.
Khuda Gawah now moves into the final spell with a fairly long schedule in Bombay in early August, followed by one in Nepal. it's slated for release in the early part of 1992. It would be Bachchan's last film before he takes a long break.