Queer are the ways of showbiz. After getting the female leads Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranuat in place, Madhur Bhandarkar's casting for Fashion is in trouble.
The male lead, requiring a charismatic star to play a prominent costume designer, remains "un-cast despite months of efforts", sources say.
Reason? No major star in Bollywood is willing to play a gay designer even "if it is only make-belief". The director has approached several marquee names, but they have all recoiled in horror and laughed off Bhandarkar's offer.
It is an instant replay of the situation with Rituparno Ghosh some years ago when he had approached Akshay Kumar to play a gay man's character.
Bhandarkar is at his wit's end, "This a strange situation. None of our actors wants to play a challenging role. I don't know what to do, probably settle for a new theatre actor."
A young actor, Jay Karla, had played a gay character in Bhandarkar's Page 3.
Not much has been heard of him since then. Many years ago, Kalpana Lajmi had offered Shah Rukh Khan the role of a eunuch in Darmiyaan. Arif Zakaria, who took over the part, faded out from the scene.