Shreyas Talpade not Kukunoor's blue-eyed boy any more

Mumbai, Jan 20 (IANS) Avant-garde directors abandon their favourite actors once they find foothold in the mainstream, where stars are easily available to them. The latest to drop his favourite is Nagesh Kukunoor, who has stopped signing Shreyas Talpade for his films.

After "Iqbal" and "Dor", Shreyas-Kukunoor seemed to have formed an actor-director team. Then came the frisky fiasco "Bombay To Bangkok" and suddenly Shreyas didn't figure in any of Kukunoor's projects.

Shreyas tries to reason out his disappointment.

"I'm told there's no role suited to me in any of these films. I trust Nagesh completely and I'm sure he'll cast me again as soon as there's a role for me in one of his films. After all we've done three films together," Shreyas told IANS.

While Kukunoor's ready-to-release "Aashayein" features John Abraham, "Tasveer" stars Akshay Kumar. Also, the start-to-finish quickie that Kukunoor is currently shooting in Jodhpur doesn't feature Shreyas.

Asked why Kukunoor hasn't signed him for his current quickie, Shreyas said: "I've wondered why I'm not working with Nagesh. I hope we work soon. 'Iqbal' was a turning point in my career. After that, when I was wondering what to do next, Nagesh gave me another challenging role in 'Dor'. Maybe he needs to work with other actors, as I need to work with other directors. I've done 'Welcome To Sajjanpur' with Shyam Benegal and I'm sure Nagesh is very happy for me."

Could the breach have occurred because of the failure of their last film together?

"No one sets out to make a bad film," reasoned Shreyas. "When we did 'Bombay To Bangkok', we had fun and thought audiences would enjoy it. They didn't. We sincerely gave the caper a best shot."

It has happened before. Years ago Prakash Jha dumped Pallavi Joshi to sign Madhuri Dixit for "Mrityudand". It happened with Ketan Mehta, who disregarded his favourite actor Naseeruddin Shah to announce "Mangal Pandey" with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead to finally make it with Aamir Khan.

And even after making such clutter-breaking neo-realistic dramas like "Aakrosh" and "Ardha Satya" with Om Puri, Govind Nihalani chose to cast the Big B in the main role and Om Puri in a supporting role in "Dev", leaving Om fuming.

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