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|August 6, 2001||
Manisha in Company
Subhash K Jha
"That's right," says Varma. "I've decided to take on Manisha Koirala for the very important role of a free-spirited woman who falls in love with the character played by Ajay Devgan."
Earlier, the talented Rinke Khanna, younger daughter of Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, last seen in the blockbuster Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai, had been signed to play the part Manisha will now play.
The filmmaker decided to change his heroine after much deliberation. "You see, earlier, when I started the film, the heroine's character personality and age were very different. As the script progressed, the character underwent a total transformation. I needed someone more mature to play the part. Manisha now fits the bill perfectly. So I asked her to do the role," he says.
Manisha is ecstatic about the chance to play the very complex and challenging character opposite Ajay Devgan.
With a pivotal role in Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, which opens later this month, and a role in the Kamal Haasan psycho-thriller -- Abhay, Manisha is sure to stage a dramatic comeback.
Company is expected to pull her career out of the doldrums.
Varma is all praise for the actress, who not so long ago wowed audiences with her performance and looks in Khamoshi: The Musical, Bombay and 1942 -- A Love Story.
Last-minute cast changes are not new to Ramgopal Varma's films. Even in Satya, his most famous film till date, Mahima Chaudhary was supposed to play the female lead but was eventually replaced by Urmila Matondkar.
In the same film Manoj Bajpai was to originally play the title role. He eventually stepped into the second lead to play the now legendary gangster Bhiku Mhatre.
Besides Manisha, Company also features the Malayalam superstar Mohanlal. He plays an honest police officer from Kerala in Mumbai.
Company also introduces character actor Suresh Oberoi's son Vivek Oberoi, who Varma says is the best newcomer he has ever worked with.
Indo-Asian News Service
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