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An Old Rivalry

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An Old Rivalry • Hrithik’s Gift to Ranveer • One is Not Enough
Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla, who’ve been putting on their best smiling faces while promoting their new movie together Gulab Gang, will accidentally let slip every now and then the reality of their relationship. While chatting with the actresses last week, it became clear to me that they’re still as different as chalk and cheese.

Revealing candidly that she turned down Yash Chopra’s offer to star with Madhuri and Shah Rukh Khan in Dil To Paagal Hai, Juhi said: “In those days the film’s heroine was the one who gets the hero, and in that script Madhuri’s character walked away with Shah Rukh. So I became the supporting actress, which I didn’t want to play, having played the lead in Yashji’s last film, Darr.” Offering none of the politically correct or guarded responses that heroines of the 90s generally dole out, Juhi admitted that she viewed Madhuri as a rival back in the day.

Her admissions felt particularly honest and refreshing in an industry where actors seldom share their insecurities. Which is why it was a little odd to hear Madhuri respond to Juhi’s revelations. The dhak dhak star insisted she’s never felt competitive towards other actresses, and has never cared about another heroine’s role in a movie. “To me, it’s always been about my own role. If I’m convinced about that, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else in the film is doing,” she said matter-of-factly, practically sandbagging poor Juhi, who looked as if she regretted having opened her heart.

Hrithik’s Gift to Ranveer

Hrithik Roshan’s departure from Shuddhi— the actor left the project recently, only days after Kareena Kapoor dropped out— appears to have upset the folks at Dharma Productions, who’d tailored the film around him. The film’s director Karan Malhotra, who directed Hrithik in Agneepath two years ago, is reportedly disappointed by the star’s exit, as is producer Karan Johar who has known Hrithik since childhood.

The actor’s reason for ditching the project is being attributed to his work schedule that went haywire after his brain surgery last year. Hrithik jumped back into Bang Bang!, which remained incomplete since he took unwell, thereby pushing forth his commitment to Shuddhi indefinitely. Kareena, who was looking forward to working with Hrithik again for the first time since Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, walked out when she couldn’t wait any longer for the film to begin. Unable to commit a fresh set of dates to the project till Bang Bang! is out of the way, Hrithik, too, eventually decided it was best to bow out of Shuddhi.

Determined not to trash the project, Johar has decided to recast the film, thereby sending out a message that he will not be enslaved to any actor’s dates and whims. The buzz doing the rounds is that the makers have their hearts set on Ranveer Singh to replace Hrithik as the film’s leading man. Ranveer, who entered the Rs 100 crore club with Ram Leela last November, also delivered a robust opening for Gunday last week. Opposite him, they’d reportedly like to cast flavour of the season (and Ranveer’s girlfriend) Deepika Padukone. Negotiations with both stars are said to be currently underway.

One is Not Enough

A reasonably prominent film director, currently shooting his latest movie, is rumoured to be romantically involved with not one but two of the starlets he’s cast in the project. One of the ladies is a southern siren who appeared in his last film too, the other is a former model with a killer body, who’s so far displayed no acting skills whatsoever in her previous film outings.

There’s a third actress in the film too, the only bonafide star among the three, and she’s not exactly thrilled that she’s ended up with the least prominent of the three female parts. Heroine No 3 was apparently not at all interested in doing this movie, but was seduced by the fat paycheck that was dangled in front of her nose and the opportunity to feature opposite an A-lister.

Turns out all the three ladies have been cast opposite the same male lead, and, more than likely because of their ‘closeness’ to the director, the other two have got meatier roles than the third.

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