KARACHI: The handsome and talented young Bollywood actor Aditya Roy Kapoor has managed to earn a spot on the ladies’ must-drool over list after his back-to-back appearances in hit films Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Aashiqui 2. But did you know that our very own Imran Abbas – not Aditya – was the Bhatt camp’s first pick for the mega hit Aashiqui sequel?
A report published by the Business of Cinema says that the makers of Aashiqui 2 had first approached Pakistani television star Abbas for the lead character, a troubled singer named Rahul Jaykar. Abbas, best known for his performance in dramas Malaal, Vasl, Khuda Aur Mohabbat, confirmed that he was approached for the part in a telephone interview with The Express Tribune.
He explained why he declined the offer. “Ashkay Kumar had offered me a role in Boss,” said Abbas. “So I was under contract. Since Akshay is a friend, I opted to remain under contract and declined Aashiqui 2. [Boss] was delayed because of its production merits, so it was mutually decided that I should not be a part of the film.”
Imran Abbas pictured with Bollywood actor Bipasha Basu.
He added, “I was even offered a role in upcoming Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Ram Leela. Both [Aashiqui 2 and Ram Leela] were lead roles, but I declined them as I was bound by contract.”
It is indeed surprising that an actor like Abbas, who has no big film projects to his name, would give up opportunities to star in big budget Bollywood films (seriously, how could someone NOT accept an offer to act alongside Deepika Padukone?!). “I do regret not being in Aashiqui 2,” he admits.
For naysayers who are skeptical about Abbas having received the offers, he says, “The biggest drawback with us is that the Pakistani audience always underestimates its own actors. [They think] we [actors] may be lying. It is certainly not so. Many actors give out crappy statements against the other and I seriously get upset about this.”
Abbas is currently involved with the final shooting of upcoming film Creature – billed as India’s first 3-D ‘monster movie’ – in which he stars opposite Bipasha Basu. The film is being directed by Vikram Bhatt and is expected to hit screens in February 2014.
When asked if he will do Pakistani film projects in the future, Abbas says, “My connection with Pakistan cannot finish. This will never happen.”
At the end, he added that he is in talks with B-town film-makers for some upcoming projects but that he cannot comment on them as “nothing is official yet”.