Shabana Azmi: show me the money

Updated on Feb 20, 2008 06:54 PM IST
Shabana Azmi knocks Balvinder Singh and Anuj Sharma for a six by charging an exorbitant price for his next film. Vajir Singh has the details.
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Hindustan Times | ByVajir Singh, Mumbai

After approving the script and making him wait almost six months, Shabana Azmi has refused debutant director Balvinder Singh's period film being produced by Anuj Sharma. The issue is apparently money.

Singh who was an assistant to Anil Sharma, was all set to strike out on his own with this film set in 1947 with Azmi playing the title role of Bebo.

"Although Shabana was not keen on meeting Singh initially, after she heard the story she immediately gave her nod to the project and spent almost five months re-working on the script with him. She even roped in Shama Zaidi to pen the dialogue," informs a source.

After approving of the script Azmi reportedly assured the makers that when it was a role as good as this one remuneration was not a criterion.

Singh and Sharma were relieved to hear that she wouldn't be charging them a lot since the film is being made within a stipulated budget.

Exorbitant demand
To their surprise however when the issue of money finally came up, the actress quoted an exorbitant price. Says our source, "She asked for Rs 50 lakh. The producer and director were left speechless by her demand."

When quizzed about the incident, Sharma initially refused to comment but on being prodded said, "The project is in the preliminary stages. It is too early to say anything. We're still negotiating."

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