Bipasha Basu too tall for Emraan Hashmi
Bipasha Basu, who was approached for Vishesh Films’ Actress (tentative title), based on late actress Parveen Babi’s life and inspired by the HBO film, Gia, will be directed by Mohit Suri.
Bipasha’s story is similar According to Suri, the script was narrated to Bipasha in absolute detail. Says Suri, “We wanted Bipasha for the role because she suited the character. The story revolves around a girl who comes from a small town and makes it big in Mumbai. Bipasha’s success story is similar to the extent that she came to Mumbai from Kolkata and became a force in Bollywood, without a father figure. Today, most filmmakers want to work with her. I was quite surprised when she turned down the Bhatts.”
It’s not the film, it’s Emraan
Sources say Bipasha wanted to act in the film, but didn’t want to be paired with the Bhatts’ blue-eyed boy, Emraan Hashmi, who she felt would not look convincing as her lover. She told the Bhatts that they wouldn’t look good on screen together.
When contacted, Bipasha said, “It’s a fabulously written script. After a long time, a strong role was coming my way, essentially a woman-centric film. The only problem was the pairing.”
Did she turn down Emraan because he is not an A-list hero? “Emraan is great at his work. I know him from the days he was an assistant director. My only problem is his physicality — so far, he has worked with petite heroines; I am way too tall and big for him.”
Emraan to stay
Bipasha says she conveyed her objections to the Bhatts and Suri. “The Bhatts understood my perspective, but felt no other hero would do that role because the woman’s character is so strong in the film.”
Says Mahesh Bhatt, “We consider Bipasha our in-house girl. We thought we had done justice to her in Footpath and Gunaah, after Raaz and Jism. This was a dream role for her; we would be incorporating instances of Gia’s life in Parveen Babi’s life. The story is more Parveen’s than Gia’s. Bipasha sat nearly three hours on this, we talked about various options but could not come to a compromise on the change in hero.”
I could’ve made it bigger
Bipasha feels she would have added value to Actress. “I am from a fashion background, I could have given them a lot of inputs. I could have roped in the bigwigs from the fashion industry and made it a very big film. But life goes on.”
Suri is tremendously disappointed. Just before boarding his flight to Zurich for the shooting of his upcoming film, Kalyug, he told us, “Having known her well, Bhatt saab would give great inputs on Parveen Babi. I don’t understand how Bipasha could ask for a different hero. I admire people like Emraan, who believe in their director and leave the casting entirely in their hands; leave aside the female lead, he doesn’t ask questions on any other member of the cast.”
Suri plans to start Actress as soon as he is through with Kalyug. “The film will dwell on the dark side of the glamour world; it will have sexual deviations, suicides, drug abuse,” says Mahesh Bhatt.