Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has dropped protégé Mohit Ahlawat from his ambitious project Sholay because he thinks the young actor doesn't fit the role anymore.
Mohit, whom Varma once prophesied to have the star-potential of Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan, and for whom he devised two star-launches James and Shiva, was one of the first actors to be cast in the new Sholay - as Jai, played by Amitabh Bachchan in the original.
In fact, while the role of the other protagonist, Veeru, changed hands from Abhishek Bachchan to Ajay Devgan, Mohit as Jai remained steadfast.
So, what went wrong? Varma opens up. "Nothing! There was no showdown or any such thing. It was all done amicably. Basically, Mohit is now out of Sholay," Varma told IANS.
"See, the decision to make Sholay was taken nearly two years back when I had no clear idea of how the project would develop. I only knew I wanted to adapt Sholay."
"But as Jai's character is now designed, I feel Mohit won't fit the role. So, we decided not to work together in Sholay right now. We may decide to work together again some other time as and when we find the right vehicle."
He makes light of the fight theory."Fight with Mohit? That's a frightening thought. Seeing how well built he is, Mohit would beat me up hands down. More seriously, the decision about Mohit not being in Sholay was taken now only because I've been too busy shooting with Mr. Bachchan and concentrating on Gabbar. Finally, when I went back to Jai's role I decided Mohit was no longer fitting the role."
But Mohit has a somewhat different story to tell. Guarded and yet upset enough to speak out he says: "I went to meet Mr. Verma on Sunday, Nov 26 and told him I didn't want to play Jai's role any longer because I didn't believe in the character and the Sholay that he's making. Beyond this, I wouldn't like to say anything about a man who gave me two films and with whom I've spent six years of my life."