Prakash Jha's Rajneeti was to be Raveena Tandon's dream comeback but the actress quit the project once she learnt that she would have to play Ajay Devgan's mother.
"You can't blame me for saying no to playing mother to an actor with whom I co-starred in so many films. But I had a bigger reason for my refusal. The film required me to leave Mumbai for two months at a stretch. Both my children are too young to be left behind for such a long time, especially since they don't even go to school yet," Raveena told IANS.
Raveena was expected to play the role of an all-powerful politician in director Prakash Jha's Rajneeti, inspired by late prime minister Indira Gandhi's life and times. Raveena was to play Ranbir Kapoor's mother. And Ranbir's role resonated the life of Rajiv Gandhi.
Raveena, who had earlier played a politician in Satta, had several meetings with Jha and both of them were excited about it.
Raveena had to age from 20 to 60. Her makeup, saris and styling were all finalised. Until she realised the role required her to play not just Ranbir's mom but also Ajay's mother.
That's when the National Award winning actress decided to back out, thereby halting her spectacular comeback plans.
"Prakash Jha offered me the role in Rajneeti. And what a role! I've the highest regards for Prakash. And when I met him for this part, I realised he's even bigger a visionary than I thought.
"He's meant to not just make films but be a national leader. He's absolutely the right person to direct a subject like Rajneeti. I'd have given anything to return to cinema with this project, specially since he insisted I was his first and best choice," the actress said.
Raveena, who was last seen in the 2006 dud Sandwich, is ready to return to the big screen. But she will only do a film that requires her to shoot in and around Mumbai. The actress is best remembered for her hits like Mohra, Andaz Apna Apna and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan.
As for the role of the female politician in Rajneeti, Jha is now thinking of casting either Tisca Chopra or Mrinal Kulkarni.