Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has long been a favourite among the stars of Bollywood to launch their debutant children.
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has long been a favourite among the stars of Bollywood to launch their debutant children. From Rishi Kapoor to Anil Kapoor, everyone trusts him to give their kids a big break.
Even Alia Bhatt and Sara Khan were supposed to be launched by Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions before Karan took them under his wing. Alia was meant to be launched at age 12 in Bhansali’s Hamari Jaan Ho Tum, but that project never materialised, and the actress ended up making her debut in Dharma Productions’ Student of the Year.
It may not be common knowledge, but Deepika Padukone was to supposed to be launched in Bhansali’s Saawariya, but the filmmaker felt that casting Anil Kapoor’s daughter opposite Ranbir made more commercial sense. It was only after losing that film to Sonam that Deepika agreed to do Om Shanti Om with Shah Rukh and Farah Khan.
Fawad Khan also came to Bhansali for his Indian launch before moving to Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions.
Bhansali’s latest “find”, Anmol, is the son of actress Poonam Dhillon and producer Ashok Thakeria. Reportedly, it was Dhillon who approached Bhansali Productions and asked the filmmaker to launch her son. And since Bhansali doesn’t directly meet with newcomers, the CEO of his company, Shobha Sant, had to convince him to take a look.
“I think this young man is going to be a star,” Sant prophesied.
SLB watched Anmol’s showreel, and the rest, as they say, is history. The actor’s debut film is being directed by debutant Taranveer Singh, who assisted Ayan Mukerji in Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. As a matter of fact, Taranveer was in talks with Karan and Ranbir about his directorial debut when he was summoned by Bhansali Productions.
This aggressive poaching of talent by the two leading production houses seems to have become the norm. As an amused independent producer puts it, “Karan Johar wants everything that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has, and Bhansali won’t let him have it. Karan can’t vie with his mentor and friend Aditya Chopra’s in terms of talent-poaching, so he focuses his attention on recruiting the new talent that Bhansali has his eyes on. So the best way for a newcomer to get Karan Johar’s attention is to casually mention Bhansali as a prospective launching missile.”