By Hindustan Times
India, Aug. 9 -- Rajinikanth is readying to make a return to the silver screen with the historical action film Rana. Though currently the South superstar is recuperating from his illness after returning from Singapore last month, co-star Deepika Padukone has given the makers, including Rajni's daughter and the film's co-producer, Soundarya, open dates for the film.
"I have assured them that whenever they want to start the film, whether this year or next, they shouldn't worry about my dates. Whenever they need me, I will make myself available," says Deepika, quashing rumours of her wanting to pull out of the project due to the delay. "Absolutely rubbish. I have asked them not to worry at all. Rajni sir's health is most important."
Even when Rajni was in Singapore with his family last month, the Om Shanti Om (2008) actor ensured she was in touch with Soundarya. "I'd exchange messages regularly. In fact, we've become close friends now," says Deepika, adding, "What I'm most happy about is that he has recuperated. He just needs to rest. I think we should all just let Rajni sir be, for some time."
During the first schedule of Rana in April, Rajinikanth fell ill on sets and was hospitalised. Soon after, he flew to Singapore for a month-and-half, where he was undergoing medical treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. The star was discharged last month, but he continued to stay in the island country for periodic check-ups and rest.
Meanwhile, Deepika spent all of last month shooting for Homi Adajania's Cocktail in London with Saif Ali Khan. While she was away, talks about Sonakshi Sinha being the first choice for Rana gained ground. "It's interesting when people claim to be the first choice of a film when they are not," she says, laughing off the matter.
Currently, the actor is kicked about Prakash Jha's Aarakshan, which releases on August 12. But isn't it a very non-commercial film for her? "In fact, I feel it's a very commercial film. The topic is so relevant in our country that everyone has experienced it at some point or the other. Whoever watches it will surely identify with some part," she says.
Interestingly, Aarakshan brings her back on screen with Saif after Love Aaj Kal (2009). The two will also be seen together in Cocktail and Race 2. "I don't know what it is, but I agree with the audience that they see a spark when they see us together on screen," smiles Deepika. "He's one of the finest actors and is extremely talented."