She might be 43 years old with a flop outing at the box office last time around (Aaja Nachle, 2007) but that doesn’t stop actor Madhuri Dixit from putting forth big demands. Now, it’s an open secret that Madhuri turned down the role of Rajnikanth’s sister in the star’s upcoming biggie Rana. However, a twist in the tale is that she wanted to be paired opposite the actor in a lead role. This demand comes at a time when she apparently also turned down the mother’s role in Anil Kapoor’s Hindi remake of Hollywood hit, Freaky Friday, which has Sonam Kapoor playing the daughter. Incidentally, Madhuri is also apparently demanding Rs 5 crore as a fee, a price commanded by very few Bollywood female actors.
“We had approached Madhuri Dixit for a role in our film, but she wanted to be paired opposite Rajnikanth in a lead role,” confirms Rana director KS Ravikumar. But makers had already finalised the much-younger Deepika Padukone as the lead. “Deepika fits the part perfectly. Though we never met Madhuri personally. Her manager had come down for a meeting and informed us that she was only looking for a lead part,” the director adds.
Reports had initially suggested that Rajni was keen to have Madhuri in Rana, but she declined saying she was missing her sons Arin and Raayan and wanted to fly back to the United States. She even posted on Twitter, “Would have loved to do a film with Rajnikanth but the role was that of his sister... need to wait for the right role.”
Despite her refusal, Ravikumar acknowledges that he didn’t want to offer her any other part. “Other female roles are very small and wouldn’t have done justice to a great actor like Madhuri,” he says, adding, “And we are very happy and content with Deepika. Besides fitting the role, she is a star across the country.”