Imran Abbas, not Aditya Roy Kapoor was first choice for Aashiqui 2

Published: October 22, 2013

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”.

Reader Comments (13)

  • Uzair Malik
    Oct 22, 2013 - 12:59AM

    Congrats! What an achievement! Round of applause. Whatever!

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  • Spock
    Oct 22, 2013 - 2:33AM

    His chocolate looks could have worked for ashiqui but no way he would have suited the rugged and macho look for ram leela.

    though i think he is making it up. How can you refuse to work for sanjay leela bhansali opposite to deepika and with bhatt camp’s most awaited remake and go for a crappy movie like boss.

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  • Black Widow
    Oct 22, 2013 - 8:11AM

    I was also offered the lead role in “The Black Swan”, it went to Natalie Portman after i declined.

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  • MJ
    Oct 22, 2013 - 10:22AM

    I was offered MIB ghost protocol but i refused….hahaha anybody can cookup a story like the extremly ovrtalented pakistani actors……I doubt whether Sanjay leela Bhansali know his name come on ET stop giving importance to fake people

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  • citizen
    Oct 22, 2013 - 11:01AM

    welcome to “Nobody Cares” ,population 6 Billion

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  • Gratgy
    Oct 22, 2013 - 11:13AM

    In his dreams!!! lol!

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  • Alee
    Oct 22, 2013 - 2:33PM

    You refused it – so leave it! why to mention now? for publicity? then you should have accepted the offer at the first place!!!

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  • Rumormonger
    Oct 22, 2013 - 4:25PM

    We do underestimate our actors….. Read the comments above. Most Pakistanis just live in the daze of Bollywood and would not want to come out of it.

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  • np
    Oct 23, 2013 - 1:44AM

    Reminds me of s small joke one heard as a kid. The drawing teacher had asked the kids to draw cows in a meadow. One kid turned in an empty paper. The teacher asked where is the grass? The kid answered – the cows ate it. The teacher persisted with her questions – Where are the cows then? The kid nonchalantly replied that once the grass was eaten, the cows left.

    Same deal here. Apparently he turned down lead roles in Aashiqui 2 and Ram Leela due to his role in Boss. Yet he eventually ended up not working in Boss either.

    BTW, ET the actor making tall claims cannot be describes as ‘confirming the story’. The story would be considered as confirmed if Mahesh Bhatt, Akshay Kumar or Sanjay Leela Bhansali confirmed it.

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  • MA
    Oct 23, 2013 - 12:04PM

    When asked if he will do Pakistani film projects in the future, Abbas says, “My connection with Pakistan cannot finish. This will never happen.”

    Tribune, what will not happen? and connection cannot finish?
    Having myself worked in the sub-editing field, I request to please improve the editing skills here.

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  • VJ Yousafali
    Oct 23, 2013 - 4:31PM

    Imran Abbas refusing prime Bollywood offers??? Something is definately wrong with him then. How did he miss mentioning ‘Chennai Express’ then. Now I am sure he is waiting for Bansali to produce ‘ Mungerilal Ke Sunehari Sapne’ for him to star. Come on Imran be real. I would have loved him to say that he refused those offers because Indian audience is very skeptical to Pakistani stars and the film bombs. Therefore instead of wasting time by exposing like Veena Malik he chose to remain in Pak films.

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  • mishka
    Nov 10, 2013 - 3:40AM

    Wow.. I’m crazy about imran’s looks coz I feel he’s like thee most gorgeous thing on this earth but now to think of it he could actually be makin things up.. But he doesn’t need to.. He doesn’t seem like those despo celebs but I agree he shouldn’t have mentioned the movies that he rejected (if he did). I wish I could do a movie/soapie with him though.

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  • Giri
    Nov 26, 2013 - 2:17AM

    My sources say he was supposed sign Krissh3, but his prior dates conflicted with the schedule. Being a humble person, he never disclosed this.

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