Playing Hard to Get – Rajeev Masand’s Gossip Column

The producers of Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout at Wadala have reportedly approached Priyanka Chopra to perform a mujra for the film. The producers of Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout at Wadala have reportedly approached Priyanka Chopra to perform a mujra for the film. This is the same item number Bipasha Basu had been roped in for originally, but the Jism siren pulled out of her commitment. Insiders say it’s because she wasn’t comfortable working with former boyfriend John Abraham, who is the leading man in Gupta’s film.

A Balaji honcho (Ekta Kapoor is producing the film) is believed to have met Priyanka at her Yari Road home last week and made a concrete offer to do the song. The role also requires the actress to appear in a few scenes, one with John, although her character is cast opposite Manoj Bajpai.

Priyanka—whose only significant film currently is director Apoorva Lakhia’s trilingual Zanjeer remake (the film is being made in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu) opposite Telugu superstar Ram Charan Teja—didn’t exactly leap at the Wadala offer, we hear. Not satisfied with merely a narration of her scenes and an explanation on how the makers intended to treat the song, the actress has asked for a copy of the bound script so she can understand the significance of her character vis a vis the overall story. According to rumours, she has also informed the producers that she would expect a substantial fee if she decided to do the role, and has requested a few days to mull over the offer.

The producers, keen to wrap the film by mid-October, have reportedly asked Priyanka for the earliest dates she can spare to shoot the song, but the actress is believed to have said she is committed to promoting Barfi until mid-September, and then gets busy with Zanjeer and her international pop album.


An Epic Decision

It appears as if the whole saga over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela might finally be coming to an end. Even as tabloids and the film trade continue to speculate over who Bhansali will cast as his leading lady opposite Ranveer Singh—will it be Kareena Kapoor who seems to want back in after walking out, or Deepika Padukone who Bhansali promptly signed for the film after Kareena walked out?—the filmmaker has reportedly taken his decision and intends to stick by it.

Deepika Padukone will play the leading lady in Bhansali’s Gujarat-set Romeo & Juliet adaptation, and the actress has already begun preparing for the part. Costume trials and look tests are already underway, and the only reason neither the actress nor the director has confirmed the casting is because Bhansali wants to put out a picture of his two leads together in a morning newspaper by way of a formal announcement. (There’s a good chance that photo and announcement might be public by the time you read this.)

The story goes that Bhansali was not pleased with Kareena when the Jab We Met star walked out of his film, and felt it would be ridiculous on his part to allow her back into the project after it was already known he’d signed a replacement. Bhansali reportedly did not want the industry to think he couldn’t do without Kareena Kapoor. Besides, the filmmaker is said to be thrilled with Deepika’s enthusiasm for the film; he has told friends he’d rather invest in an actress who values the experience of working with him.


Drama in the Powder Room

A prominent actress who’s currently straddling masala films with meaty projects directed by ‘realistic’ directors was allegedly busted snorting ‘white powder’ with the glamorous wife of a studio head in the ladies room of Mumbai’s chic Oriental restaurant recently.

Industry insiders are saying that the restaurant management broke up the ladies’ party when a female patron alerted them that something ‘fishy’ was going on in one of the stalls in the powder room. The restaurant manager apparently let the ladies off with a stern warning, and asked the women to clear their bill and his premises immediately.



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