Kundan Shah finds a Madhuri lookalike two decades after the diva kept him waiting!
For over two decades Madhuri Dixit kept Kundan Shah hanging and then refused to play a prostitute saying she was a mother of two; the maker finally settled for her look alike. Twenty-seven years after Feroz Khan’s Dayavan, in which Madhuri Dixit played a fearless prostitute, Neelu, Kundan Shah continues to imagine her as the leading lady of his political satire, P Se PM Tak. This film’s protagonist Kasturi too is a prostitute who goes on to become the Prime Minister and the writer-director of the cult hit Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron chased the actress for over two decades, before finally settling for another Dixit, newbie Meenakshi Dixit. “I approached Madhuri on the sets of Anjaam in 1994. She liked the script but didn’t have dates. So we both decided to start the film the next year. P Se PM Tak didn’t happen and I went on to make Kya Kehna with Preity Zinta while Madhuri made other movies, got married and quit the industry,” reminisces Shah. A decade later, he went back to her with the project and she turned him down, pointing to her just born second child, Rayaan. “She didn’t want to return to films so soon,” the filmmaker reveals. When he saw her shake a leg with Ranbir Kapoor in Ghagra, a special appearance song in Ayan Mukerji’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Shah returned to her and told her he wanted to bring her back with this film. “She curtly told me that she was now a mother of two kids and could not play a prostitute. I tried explaining that the film had only two scenes inside of a brothel and the character was more than just a hooker. But she had made up her mind. She refused to step into a red light area, even if it wasn’t for real,” he says. The director then auditioned over 1000 women till he and finally came across Meenakshi Dixit who bears an uncanny resemblance to Madhuri. “I auditioned Meenakshi for four days, before I finally decided on her. She has gone through an extensive workshop and I’m finally convinced that she’s the best choice for the role.”
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