Hrithik, Aishwarya to play villains in 'Dhoom 2' ...

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

imageMumbai, Jan 22 (IANS) It's official: Bollywood superstars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai are being paired for the first time in the much talked about sequel to "Dhoom". And that's not all: they are playing the baddies.

Hrithik is thrilled to be the villain. "I've played the good guy long enough. Now it's time for me to get seriously evil," he laughed.

"I always wanted to play a cool villain. And since the bad guy in 'Dhoom 2' is multi-dimensional, I'll have so much fun with the character. Playing this nightmarish guy is a dream come true," Hrithik told IANS.

The sequel, a hi-tech thriller to be directed once again by Sanjay Gadhvi, boasts a profusion of special effects and action spectacles and is being touted as "bigger, costlier and more in-your-face than 'Dhoom'".

The film brings together the untried pair of Hrithik and Aishwarya, with the "Bride and Prejudice" star playing the villain's girlfriend.

Hrithik and Aishwarya have repeatedly missed the chance of appearing together. Just after the release of "Kaho Na...Pyar Hai", the two were supposed to appear in director Tanuja Chandra's wartime love story about a nurse and a soldier.

More recently Hrithik and Aishwarya were all but signed for Rakesh Roshan's sequel to "Koi...Mil Gaya".

With the Khans - Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir - out of her orbit (Aamir is miffed because she turned down "The Rising"), Aishwarya is desperately in need of dependable and saleable heroes.

"How many films can I do with Ajay Devgan and Sanjay Dutt?" she said.

They would make an interesting pair especially since both go into mean mode for "Dhoom 2".

After her guest appearance in "Bunty Aur Babli" with the Bachchans, "Dhoom 2" would be another major step into the fold of Yashraj Films for Aishwarya.

Sanjeev Kohli, CEO of Yashraj Films told IANS: "We've been in talks with Aishwarya and Hrithik for a while. The two stars are cast in very different roles. Also the fact that they've never appeared together before adds to the film's USP."