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Most Wanted Rajput

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Most Wanted Rajput • Salman’s Pay Cut • Too Big for His Shoes

It’s taken Sushant Singh Rajput all of two films to emerge as the ‘most wanted’ newcomer in Bollywood. Not even a year since his debut in Kai Po Che, and only weeks since the release and success of Shudh Desi Romance, the television star-turned-big screen heartthrob has already bagged three prominent films with three respected directors. There’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshi with Dibakar Banerjee that Sushant is currently prepping for; earlier this week, Yash Raj Films announced that Sushant will be the leading man in Shekhar Kapur’s passion project Paani, which had Hrithik Roshan attached to it until recently. And now it is learnt that Ashutosh Gowariker may have also signed on Sushant for his next film, Mohenjodaro, a love story set during the Indus Valley Civilisation for which Gowariker had also reportedly been in talks with his Jodhaa Akbar leading man Hrithik.

Although quickly denied by the actor, there have been reports recently that Sushant’s Kai Po Che director Abhishek Kapoor blew a fuse when he learnt that his star had committed to Kapur’s and Gowariker’s films, whose shooting schedules are likely to clash with Kapoor’s own new project with Sushant. This film, titled Fitur, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, is expected to go on the floors early next year, and will also likely star Katrina Kaif. Anticipating that his own planned schedule may now need to be readjusted so that Sushant can accommodate the new films he’s signed, Kapoor allegedly exchanged heated words with the star, who has assured him that his commitment to Fitur will not be compromised.

Salman’s Pay Cut

Salman Khan’s UK visa problems may have cost the makers of Kick as much as Rs 20 crore. By the time the actor was finally granted a visa to travel to England (reportedly after being twice denied) to shoot for his buddy Sajid Nadiadwala’s directorial debut, a small fortune had already been invested in flying in a considerably large unit to the UK.

During this schedule, some scenes were in fact filmed with Randeep Hooda, who plays an important secondary role. But for the most part, little shooting could be done without Salman, who is in practically every scene of the film. When it became clear that the Ek Tha Tiger star wasn’t going to be able to arrive for the shoot anytime soon, the unit returned to Mumbai with plans to head back as soon as Salman’s visa issues had been ironed out. But it is learnt that when Nadiadwala crunched the numbers again, he decided that going back to shoot in the UK was no longer an option, given just how much they’d already spent twiddling their thumbs in the English countryside.

Kick will now be filmed in a less expensive location, and according to the grapevine, Salman has volunteered to take a sizeable pay cut so that Nadiadwala’s film can be brought in on budget. Nice of him! Now how about showing up on time every morning?

Too Big for His Shoes

The three male stars of a recently released hit film have been pledging undying friendship to one another and talking of great camaraderie on the sets. But it turns out that two of the gentlemen were permanently sniggering behind the third actor’s back, and not without reason.

They have revealed to friends that the actor in question, still delusional about his popularity (or lack of it), behaved like he was a bigger star than the two of them, and repeatedly showed up late to work—not only while making the film, but also while promoting it recently. Things got so bad that the producers had to give him fake call sheets timed one hour earlier than the required time so that he would not keep everyone hanging around for him to turn up.

Apparently, he also hasn’t dropped the habit of taking private calls on his cell phone while with his friends and embarrassing them by indulging in “gooey, coochie-coo kind of conversations” in their presence. Referring to his record of showing off his closeness to previous girlfriends (one prominent actress in particular), one of the other two actors snarkily remarked: “He hasn’t changed one bit. He’s still using words like ‘My Sunshine’ and ‘My Gorgeous’ while talking to the person at the other end; only the person at the other end has changed.” Ouch.

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