Six months ago, Vashu Bhagnani had finalised beauty queen Pooja Gupta as the lead opposite his son, Jackky in Faltu that starts next month. “We had given her a one-line narration and she had agreed to our movie being her Bollywood debut,” says Bhagnani. But the name being bandied around is another Pooja — Pooja Chopra, who won the crown last year. Bhagnani says that he is yet to meet this Chopra. His daughter ran into her by chance at a health spa and was introduced to her “as the heroine of your dad’s film”.“It’s exasperating how these stories get written with journalists not even bothering to check facts,” he grouses.
His choice of heroine has lent itself to a lot of speculation over the last few months. Buzz was that Sanjay Dutt who had been finalised for a significant part in the movie, had opted out after Pooja Chopra had replaced his good friend and manager, Dharam Oberoi’s daughter, Neha Oberoi in the project. Dutt has reportedly made way for Akshay Kumar. Madhavan too is a part of the cast. “That’s so untrue!” Bhagnani rants. “I have yet to speak to Sanjay, Akshay or any other top star. I have only confirmed Jackky, Pooja Gupta and Chandan Sanyal. Bishen Singh Bedi’s son, Angad, may be signed too, but we’ll know only on April 24 after the IPL.”
Waiting for script
He admits that there is room for some top stars but he’s waiting for his writer and director to return from Shimla with the complete script in a week’s time before going to anyone. “I need to know if my actor-friends fit the role and have the dates available,” he reasons.
The story that touches on our education system, is set in Mumbia but may be shot in another city because “it’s too hot here and then there will be the rains”. Directed by choreographer Remo, the film is called Faltu because “all these kids are faltu”. Bhagnani got the title from Karan Johar and is quick to point out that despite a choregrapher-director helming it, it will not be a musical.
Meanwhile, Bhagnani’s good friend Raj Kundhra who has a stake in a cricket IPL team, is also planning to start a football league along the same lines. Bhagnani candidly admits that buying into an IPL cricket team is way out of his league but if Kundra were to approach him for the football league and the money wasn’t too big, he might consider. For the moment though he’s rooting for the Mumbai Indians. He adds, “I did support Rajasthan Royals too but only because of Raj. He’s like my younger brother.”