Ever since Shah Rukh Khan and Farah Khan announced their upcoming film, Happy New Year, speculation has been rife over who will play the leading lady. And although several established names, such as Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha and even telly star Jennifer Winget were in the list of the probable actresses who could clinch the role opposite SRK, we’ve now come to know that Farah has zeroed in on her heroine. And surprisingly, it’s a newcomer.
“Yes, Farah has found the girl. But now, she is waiting for Shah Rukh’s return from an award function in Macau. Once he is back, she will show him the screen tests and the auditions before he gives a green signal. But since Farah has chosen the actor, we can say that the name is almost confirmed,” says a trade insider.
Although Farah and her team remain tight-lipped, we have been told that the 20-something girl is an actor and not a model, like Deepika Padukone, who Farah and SRK launched with Om Shanti Om (2007). “Farah wanted a pretty girl who could act as well as dance, since the role is of a bar dancer from Bhandup. That’s why it took over three months for her to find the right person,” adds the insider.
The film will go on the floors in September. Apparenlty, almost 70 girls — including several big names — either auditioned or screen-tested for the role. “Every possible actor from the industry tried her luck but Farah was very clear about what was she looking for. Now she is eagerly waiting for Shah Rukh’s response. Once he says yes, she will start polishing the actor’s dancing as well as acting skills,” adds the insider.
In all likelihood, the official announcement will come in around 10 days. When contacted, Farah says: “Yes, the girl is almost finalised. Now, we are waiting for Shah Rukh to come back.” The film will also star Abhishek Bachchan and Boman Irani, among others.
More awards for the King: Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan receives the Digital Star of the Year award at the IIFAs.