By Hindustan Times
He’s already struck gold playing a don in films like Salman Khan’s Wanted (2009) and Ajay Devgn’s Singham (2011). That’s probably why the makers of Sher, starring Sanjay Dutt, thought of signing on south star Prakash Raj to play a “pivotal” role in their movie.
But now, just as director Soham Shah has started filming, Prakash has apparently walked out of the project.
Soham Shah and producer Hiren Gandhi of Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision had apparently visited Prakash in Bangkok last month, and the story they narrated featured him in a strong, elaborate role. But once shooting began, the actor felt shortchanged.
He realised that his role had undergone a lot of changes, and had been made significantly smaller. And if industry insiders are to be believed, Sanjay, who also plays a don in Sher, might be a reason behind it.
“Prakashji wasn’t happy with the way his role was turning out,” says an insider from the production house. “Since Sher is very close to Sanjay sir, he’s been involved at all levels. He was also the reason behind Prakashji’s role undergoing a last-minute transformation.”
Also, our source reveals that soon after Prakash walked out of the film, he called up one of his filmmaker friends who recently worked with Dutt in a box office dud. “Prakashji was very upset with the way things worked out,” says the insider. Prakash, who is in Singapore at the moment, admits, “It’s true that I am not doing Sher.”
But ask him about the rumours that he walked out of the film because of changes made to his role, and he thunders, “Nothing like that. If I have said that I am not doing the film, I don’t need to give any other details.”
When we contacted Dutt in Jaipur, this is what he had to say: “I have no idea what’s happening. And who am I to interfere in the script? I refuse to belive that Prakash can talk about this.”
While rumours are rife that the makers have decided to do away with the role now that their actor has walked out of the film, sources reveal that Paresh Rawal has replaced Prakash.
But a spokesperson for Shree Ashtavinayak denies that Prakash was signed for the role, “We were keen to sign up Prakash Raj and, in fact, had met his manager too. But since he is busy with his South Indian films, he couldn’t give us the bulk dates we required. That’s why we couldn’t work with him, though we hope to be able to in the future.”