Mani Ratnam offered Abhishek Bachchan a role in his yet untitled film. Only, the character was negative.
Abhishek was thrilled at being offered a role by Mani, but none too happy with the negative slant. Apprehensive about a change of image when he was still struggling to succeed as an actor, he almost decided to wave Mani a polite goodbye.
But, after prolonged thought (and much persuasion from his family members and the director), Abhishek has now agreed to do the role. He begins shooting for the film in July.
Abhishek's father Amitabh made a strong impact with negative roles in films like Parwana (Navin Nischol, Yogita Bali) and Gehri Chaal (Jeetendra, Hema Malini) in the early part of his career. More recently, Amitabh was again seen playing a cold-blooded villain in Aankhen (Akshay Kumar, Sushmita Sen, Arjun Rampal, Paresh Rawal).
Mani Ratnam's film also includes Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherji.
Urmila dumps Tumse Pyara Kaun
Director Ajay Phansekar (Encounter -- The Killing) was thrilled to have signed Urmila Matondkar for his film, Tumse Pyara Kaun, produced by N V Films.
Asked whether it was difficult for a relatively new director like him to sign Urmila, he had replied, "Why should it be difficult? Urmila's character in the film is very dignified. It is something she has never portrayed before."
Little did he know that Urmila would walk out of his film without even bothering to offer a reason. A flustered Ajay has now approached Gracy Singh (Lagaan, Armaan) to star in the film.
Sonali returns to Marathi cinema
Sonali Bendre stars in Marathi cinema's most expensive film to date -- Amol Palekar's Anaahat (Anant Nag, Deepti Naval). The film is being made at a cost of Rs 2 crore (approximately US $426,000).
Sonali plays Queen Sheelavati, who is forced to choose a surrogate husband for one night to provide her impotent husband with an heir.
The film will premiere at the Locarno Film Festival this year.
No heroines for Ritesh
Producer Vijay Galani (Ajnabee) is at his wit's end. He has not been able to convince any heroine to star opposite Ritesh Deshmukh (Tujhe Meri Kasam) in his forthcoming film, E Niwas's Bardasht (Bobby Deol, Lara Dutta).
Last heard, Vijay and Niwas had approached Mallika Sherawat (Khwahish), but she too thumbed her nose at them. Mallika's film, Govind Menon's Khwahish (Himanshu Malik), released today.