Shah Rukh brings Priyadarshan, Deepika Padukone together

Mumbai, Sep 5 (IANS) Deepika Padukone was supposed to make her debut with a Priyadarshan film but she chose Farah Khan's "Om Shanti Om" instead. Now, three years later, the actress is making a cameo appearance in the director's much-talked about "Billo Barber".

Priyadarshan gives credit to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for bringing her to the project. Besides Deeepika, Kareena Kapoor also makes a guest appearance in the movie.

"Yes, she was being seriously considered for a film called 'Pirates' about music piracy. But the film didn't work out. I'm so glad Deepika made her debut with a film as successful as 'Om Shanti Om', and that too with Shah Rukh Khan," Priyadarshan told IANS.

"Shah Rukh has asked one more heroine to join him. But Kareena and Deepika agreed because of Shah Rukh. They aren't performing item songs. They play his heroines," he added.

The director had been trying to rope in Shah Rukh for years.

"I had offered him four other films. I never made those films. You can't make a film written for Shah Rukh with anyone else. Then now when he finally gave me 65 days, he said he's busy with the IPL (Indian Premier League) and I'd have to adjust dates accordingly.

"Then I narrated 'Billo Barber' to him. He got really excited and said, 'IPL and this film happen side by side'. This film takes me back to my 'Viraasat'. I feel I've gone back to my roots."

"Billo Barber" is a remake of the Malayalam film "Kadha Parayumbol", which was directed by Sreenivasan. Mammootty and Sreenivasan played the lead roles in it.

"Irrfan Khan plays the title role and Shah Rukh plays a superstar called Saahil Khan. It's inspired by the mythical friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama but done in a completely contemporary context.

"It's about a village and the changes that happen in it when a superstar comes to the village. What people don't know is that there's a very strong suspense element in the film," said Priyadarshan.

Commenting upon Irrfan, the director said: "Any big star would've agreed to play the title role. But I wanted someone who looked like a real villager, a hardcore barber. Irrfan has learnt how to cut hair," said Priyadarshan.

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