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Calling Bad Man’s bluff?

hollywood Updated: Mar 18, 2011 17:30 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Actor Gulshan Grover is ecstatic about his tryst with Hollywood star Salma Hayek. According to Bollywood’s ‘bad man’, he will start shooting for Bill Duke’s The Driver in June. “I am enjoying the fact that I will be playing a hero at the age of 55. The makers had seen many Indian actors’ work, but Bill felt I have what the role needs — the right age, variety in my craft and international exposure to do the part,” says Gulshan.

Furthermore, he claims that The Driver will have at least ten more Hollywood biggies and sports personalities playing themselves, as “the story demands their presence.” The list includes names like Will Smith, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah and Whoopie Goldberg. “Bill has very strong relationships in Hollywood and many of the stars are his friends,” explains Gulshan.

Though a majority of The Driver will be filmed in Los Angeles (LA), some parts will also be shot in India. Grover, who says Salma Hayek will play his wife in the project, adds, “She (Salma) will be coming to our country too and we’ll make sure she experiences Indian exotica.”

However, Hayek’s representatives in LA say she isn’t associated with any such movie. “To my knowledge, Salma is not acting in a film called The Driver. I don’t know where this rumour originated from, but I’d appreciate you correcting it,” says Evelyn O’Neill, Salma’s manager, adding, “Salma has no plans to visit India.” The superstar’s publicist Cari Ross too, insists that news about her acting in the film “is not true”.

Gulshan, on his part, feigns ignorance. According to him, he “isn’t aware of any denial by Salma’s representatives. As far as I know, The Driver is happening with her. I have been told exactly that. At least, that’s what I believe. A film goes through various stages of planning and strategies also undergo changes. I think we should leave it at that.” To prove that his meeting with Bill and other members of The Driver’s crew did indeed take place, Gulshan sent across some pictures of him posing with the director, screenwriter James Miller and associate producer TY Pruitt. But when asked why there were none of him and Salma, he skipped the query with a laugh.

On many occasions over the last few months, Gulshan has been speaking to the press about his involvement in the project with the Mexican beauty playing the part of his wife in the film. Soon after, reports claimed that the makers of The Driver were upset with him for revealing too much about the film. And at last year’s International Film Festival of India (in Goa), Gulshan had claimed that his friends from Bollywood “wanted to kill him.” He had said: “They are very jealous that I am working with Salma.”

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