Anees Bazmee is delighted with Ileana who stepped into Sonakshi’s shoes; and adds that she was more than perfect.
When the prolific writer-director Anees Bazmee began directing his new comedy Mubarakan, the film starred Sonakshi Sinha opposite Arjun Kapoor. But it seems that Sonakshi and Arjun do not see eye to eye. Hence, Sonakshi opted out, leaving the project short of a leading lady.
Now that the film is complete, Anees isn’t the least bitter about the past. “This was not the first time when I faced a casting crisis. Every time I had a last-minute panic situation, the replacement actor has proven to be the ideal choice. This time, Ileana D’Cruz came in Sonakshi’s place and fit the role so perfectly, I wonder why I never thought of her in the first place. She has many years of experience in South Indian cinema and has brought so much character to the movie.”
Talking about the other leading lady in Mubarakan, Anees’ eyes light up. “Aathiya’s father, Sunil Shetty is my friend. I have seen her as a child running around the house. Aathiya has tremendous potential. Her debut in Hero was not that stellar, but a film’s success depends on multiple factors. I believe she has a long way to go.”
Anees is gung-ho about the male cast, too. “I’ve worked with Anil Kapoor before. He is so enthusiastic about his work that it’s contagious. However, it was my first time with Arjun, and even though the duo is chacha-bhatija, on the sets, they were two professional actors working on their scenes. Those who think nepotism drives this industry should see how professional this duo is on the sets.”
Coming across a multi-starrer like Mubarakan in present times is rare. Anees says there are three superstars in film. “The script, the script and the script.”