While the SC is yet to announce it’s the final verdict, ETimes got in touch with ‘Chicken Biriyani’ and ‘Yeh Hai India’ filmmaker, Lom Harsh, who opened up about dismissing Rhea Chakraborty from the lead role of his upcoming film. He also shared his views on the ongoing case and Rhea’s connection with the late actor’s mysterious demise.
Can you tell us about your upcoming project? If yes, do you have an actor in your mind for the film?
Yes, we are planning for my next which might start as soon as the ongoing number of COVID-19 cases goes down. In fact, we were considering Rhea Chakraborty as she was the Producer’s choice, but that was a while back when we were discussing casting choices and our requirements. But due to the COVID-19, we delayed the film and now after whatever is happening, the entire Sushant Singh Rajput controversy where Rhea is portraying an important role, so we are lucky to say that we haven’t made the decision of casting her.
Have you met Rhea for the film? Or did you approach her earlier?
Absolutely not, we have a proper team and procedure. As I said we were considering her (Rhea) for the female lead in the film and she was in the list of prospective actors. But after Sushant’s demise, we instantly dropped the idea of casting Rhea Chakraborty.
Did you happen to know Sushant Singh Rajput? How was he?
I had a meeting once earlier back in 2018, but as a director, I meet several actors. He was fantastic and a very down to earth person. Being an outsider and a director, I understand the plight of actors. I have seen a lot of struggling actors. Struggling is the most dreadful part of every creative person, whether it’s a painter, singer, or actor, or even director. The struggle is like an everyday suicide especially when everyone wants to become a top-grade actor or director. The sort of treatment actors get from directors and casting directors is nothing but suicide. For example, what Nawazuddin has done, wasn’t his struggle a suicide? But a man who gave films like‘Kai Po Che’, ‘Sudh Desi Romance’, ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ and ‘Sonchiriya’, do you think a person who overcame his struggle would break after reaching the peak of his career? It was non-acceptable when I had heard about the news of his demise. Only a very few people can make their journey from television to films successfully and he was that person. From his work fame to his bank statements, nothing justifies that he had a reason to be depressed.
What’s your take on the ongoing insider-outsider debate in Bollywood?
It is a never-ending debate. Those who have an upper hand in the acting fraternity have an advantage, their struggle is less. They have easy access to their career and all, but Sushant was one of those outsiders who won the race and ticked all the boxes in his career and someone comes and says that he had committed suicide, it’s surprising. If it’s a suicide, let the CBI investigate and say that. Am I against Rhea? No, but the world needs truth.
What do you think Rhea Chakraborty should do? Any Advice for her
All I want to say to Rhea is, my humble and personal request please come out if you really love Sushant and cared for him, please support the CBI investigation. Whoever she’s trying to save is unfortunately not going to save her. And, if she’s trying to save her career, then that’s already over. At least if she really loved Sushant, should stand and fight for it. Let the investigation take its course and decide if it’s a suicide, or murder or forced suicide. At least cooperate, why are you running away?
Do you think Rhea Chakraborty will be boycotted by the film industry due to the allegations in the Sushant Singh Rajput case?
We are a part of an emotional system and emotional sentiments are now with Sushant Singh Rajput. Absolutely it’s going to affect her career and many more who were considering her in their projects have to reconsider it. And, if I am not wrong many of them are already thinking about it. Any sensible and smart person would do the same, there’s no second thought in that. Nobody wants negativity and problems. Am not saying she is the problem but we are going for the audience’s verdict. Maybe the truth will prevail in future. So, let the audience decide. Is desh ke andar star audience hi banati hain, parents aur nepotism kabhi star nahi banati hain.