Fenil and Bollywood

Will Rani and Vidya work together in Deepa Mehta’s film?

Posted on: January 19, 2010

Deepa Mehta wants to cast Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan as sisters, but didn’t know there’s no love lost between them

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 19, 2010)

Deepa Mehta and Vidya Balan were supposed to work together two years ago in a comedy featuring Madhavan, but it didn’t materialise. Now, for the screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Mehta met Vidya on her visit to Mumbai because she wants her to play Rani Mukerji’s sister. Apparently, Vidya is hugely kicked by the script and the role.

Confirming the meeting, Vidya says, “Yes, Deepa did meet me. I was earlier supposed to do Stella with her. I was very excited because it was a chance to work with Madhavan again. Maddy and I had shared beautiful moments in Guru. I would love to work with her.”

However, before things could be finalised, the casting coup has reportedly run into stormy weather – neither of the ladies is happy with the idea of playing the other’s sister. Rani and Vidya have a history of sorts, and the tale revolves around filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar.

Sarkar, who had elevated Vidya to the hall of fame with Parineeta, inexplicably signed Rani Mukerji for his second Hindi venture Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, leaving Vidya bewildered.

At that point, Vidya had said, “I don’t know why Dada didn’t ask me to do Laaga… but I am here any time he needs me.” Though there was no bitterness in her tone, the hurt was palpable.

But Deepa, unaware of this undercurrent, offered the actors what she considers perfect roles. “I see them as sisters. They are both lovely. I am dying to work with them together,” says Deepa.

Now it remains to be seen who blinks first, Vidya or Rani. Or will a stony silence kill this once-in-a-lifetime chance for them to share screen space?

(L): Rani Mukerji (R): Vidya Balan

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