December 16, 2002 
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Manoj Bajpai
Manoj Bajpai, desi Michael Douglas
Actor stars in Hindi remake of Basic Instinct

Subhash K Jha

Manoj Bajpai will play Michael Douglas' role in the Hindi version of Basic Instinct.

The desi adaptation, being directed by Pankaj Parasher, is tentatively titled Inteqaam. Manoj's costar in the film is Isha Koppikar.

Sushmita Sen was supposed to play Sharon Stone's role, but backed out due to date problems.

Manoj has his share of date problems and says he refuses more offers than he takes on. He has now accepted Dharmesh Darshan's offer to play villain in the director's forthcoming Bewafaa. The role, turned down by Suniel Shetty, sees Manoj as a blackmailer.

Says Manoj, "I do not know why Suniel did not do the role. It isn't really a villain's role. [Producer] Boney Kapoor was very keen I accept the role. Bewafaa will be projected as a three-hero film -- Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and I -- in the promos and hoardings. That is what Boney has promised me. Raveena Tandon is my costar."

Any conversation with Manoj is not devoid of a mention of his mentor Ram Gopal Varma. "We are not working together right now. I am sure he will call me the minute he has something for me. Right now, he is neck-deep in Bhoot and his next project."

Is it true Manoj was supposed to play Ajay Devgan's role while Shah Rukh Khan was the first choice for Akshay Kumar in the international project Varma will direct for Bharat Shah? Manoj is tightlipped about it. "I am available day and night for Ramu for any film or role he wants me to do," he says.


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