For Alia Bhatt, it’s “a big deal” to be working with Shah Rukh Khan in director Gauri Shinde’s next. “I am very excited. It’s a dream come true. My dad (Mahesh Bhatt; filmmaker) has worked with Shah Rukh, so I know the kind of actor he is. I am aware of his dedication; I know how hard-working he is. He is very charismatic,” says the actor.
But when the young star was signed opposite SRK, the casting raised eyebrows. Interestingly, it’s not just the SRK-Alia pairing that’s uncommon. This year will see a barrage of unusual as well as new pairs on the big screen.
In the latest instance, Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be seen opposite Amy Jackson in Sohail Khan’s next, and he is also believed to have signed director Ritesh Batra’s next, Photographer, with Shraddha Kapoor.
Also, Ayushmann Khurrana has been signed with Parineeti Chopra in Meri Pyari Bindu. “I am really excited to work with Parineeti. I think she is one of the finest actresses around. She is very versatile too,” says Ayushmann.
Moreover, while Salman Khan will feature alongside Anushka Sharma in Sultan, Sushant Singh Rajput will romance Kriti Sanon in Raabta. Arjun Kapoor will team up with Shraddha in the adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s book, Half Girlfriend, and Akshay Kumar will romance Ileana D’Cruz and Esha Gupta in Rustom.
Arjun and Kareena Kapoor Khan are already making news with their chemistry in film-maker R Balki’s Ki & Ka trailer.
“Unusual or new pairs shouldn’t be cast just for the sake of it. It can’t be forced. If the script demands it, then it should happen organically. Like in my film, I needed two such actors, and they are looking beautiful together,” says Balki.
Business wise, do never-before-seen pairs guarantee a new level of interest? “It does. But, besides casting a new or unusual pair, a lot of other things like the script and the film’s genre have to work in synergy to create the right impact,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.
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