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'They called me a jobless actress'

tabloid Updated: Sep 11, 2006 20:08 IST
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''A report that Shilpa Shetty has replaced Karisma Kapoor in a dance show on Sony TV because she is worth much less has upset both the actress and the channel.

Shilpa, who is to be a judge on Sony's new dance show "Jhalak Dikhla Jaa", said: "This paper has been targeting me on the smallest of pretexts. They called me a jobless actress, which I am not for sure. I currently have two major films on the floor.

"I know the truth about why I've stepped into 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa' and how much I've been paid.

"I see no reason to tom-tom my career moves to people who are hell bent on writing me off. If people see my debut on television as a downslide in my career I can't help it. Let me remind them I'm not doing a soap."

Incidentally, Shilpa got many offers to appear on the small screen but she kept waiting for the right opportunity and "Jhalak Dikhla Jaa" provided that.

"I've been offered lots of television before. So far, I resisted the temptation because I didn't want anyone to say I was getting into television because I had no films on hand.

"It's another matter that even now I'm being subjected to barbs about being jobless. Right now I'm working on Anurag Basu's 'Metro' where I've a role to die for.

"If I've chosen to cut down on films it's only because I can't do crappy parts at this stage of my career. I'd rather do 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa' on TV where I get to be part of something I enjoy unconditionally - dancing."

Sony spokesperson Anupama Mandloi confirms that Shilpa has been paid very handsomely.

"We did have a problem with Karisma and we did ask Shilpa to step in. But to suggest that she has been paid a meagre amount is a joke."

Karisma burnt her hands with the soap "Karishma" on Sahara TV some years ago.

"I've been around long enough not to get insecure about less work now. I've seen many girls come and go. By god's grace, I'm still around and in a position to do the kind of work that I really enjoy," Shilpa said.

"The best part of doing 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa' is my colleagues are Farah Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I've never worked with either, but I've always admired their work."

Another person who opted out of 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa' was composer Himesh Reshammiya.

"We asked him to compose the title song for us. He wanted to be paid the sun, moon and stars. We reeled under his remunerative demands and quickly went to Vishal-Shekhar who has composed a beautiful signature tune for us. Javed Akhtar has written the song.

"Sure, it has the words 'Jhalak dikhla jaa' in it. But our song is completely different from Himesh's number," Mandoli added.