Before Sushant Singh Rajput, did you know that Kristen Stewart and Hrithik Roshan were attached to Paani?
A lot has been said about Sushant Singh Rajput’s unrealised passion project, Paani, directed by Shekhar Kapur. But did you know that before Sushant was attached to the film, there were rumours that Kapur had approached Twilight actor Kristen Stewart for the film, opposite Hrithik Roshan?
But Kapur in 2011 put rumours to rest when he tweeted, “Kristen Stewart is not aboard Paani. We have just had one conversation. She still needs to read the script. People are jumping to conclusions.” Stewart, then at the peak of her popularity thanks to the Twilight movies, denied even being approached. She told The Times of India via email, “No I haven’t been approached by any one. I’d like to visit India though some time.”
It was reported at the time that Hrithik dropped out of the project due to disagreements with Yash Raj Films. Kapur had offered an explanation about the matter on his blog. He had written, as quoted by India Today, “Which Director in his right mind would ever give up a chance to work with Hrithik Roshan? He has been one of the most exciting actors in Hindi Cinema for a long time. And a huge star to boot. And years ago, as I sat down to write Paani, I had one image in mind to play the male lead. Hrithik Roshan. The character I described in the script was completely Hrithik. His manner, his inner world, his conflicts...were all Hrithik. I sat with AR Rahman and as we composed music together, I always would ask him to imagine Hrithik.”
The filmmaker had added, “But then the years passed. I got involved with Hollywood. Other projects ensnared me away from the project that was my deepest passion...Paani. And as the years passed, and the script kept evolving.. changing. And Hrithik changed to...To what Hrithik is today. The Super Hero. The man who is the protector, the man who can take on the world single handedly. The man who knows he can take on the world singlehandedly. Hrithik evolved into Krish. And I realized I had left it too late...So while I lost the chance to cast Hrithik in Paani, I hope that he would still agree to be in one of my next film.”
The filmmaker began developing the project with Sushant in around 2013, but the film fell apart once again. Kapur has spoken about his and Sushant’s dejection at the project being shelved several times since the actor’s death. Sushant died by suicide on June 14.
On Wednesday, the filmmaker tweeted that if the were ever to be made, he’d dedicate it to Sushant. “If you want to journey with the Gods, or your creativity, you have to walk each step in devotion. In humility. God willing #Paani will get made one day. If it does, I will dedicate it to Sushant. But it has to be made with partners that walk in humility, not in arrogance,” he wrote.
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