The Vishal Bhardwaj-produced National Award-winning Ishqiya (2010) was an important film in Arshad Warsi’s career. It saw him move from playing sidekicks to a central character himself. His acting was praised by critics, and audiences talked about his chemistry with Vidya Balan and his escapades alongside ‘Khalujaan’ Naseeruddin Shah.
However, when Arshad read the script for the sequel, Dedh Ishqiya, it seems he wasn’t too pleased. So he promptly demanded that director Abhishek Chaubey (who also directed the 2010 original) modify things to make his role “meatier”.
“Arshad’s role wasn’t big enough, so he wasn’t too kicked when the sequel was narrated to him,” a source told us. When we called Arshad for a confirmation, he accepted that this indeed was the truth: “When I heard the script, I didn’t feel very excited about my role and voiced my displeasure to Abhishek,” Arshad confirms. The director, on his part, has agreed to the actor’s demands. Arshad says, “They have assured me that they are reworking the script. If all falls in place, we will begin shooting in September.”
Sources also tell us that it was Arshad who urged both the producer and the director to get Kangana Ranaut to star opposite him in the sequel since he felt that he might get overshadowed by veterans Naseeruddin and Madhuri Dixit, who will play the female lead in the film.
Besides Arshad, Dedh Ishqiya will also be an important film for Madhuri, who will return to the big screen after a gap of five years — her last film was Aaja Nachle in 2007. Madhuri’s character, Shahi Begum, however, won’t be seen romancing both uncle and nephew (like Vidya did in Ishqiya), but will be paired with Naseer.