Anees Bazmee made a last minute decision to shoot an item number with Akshay Kumar and Mallika Sherawat for “Thank You” and had to steal the actress from Indra Kumar who was filming some intricate group shots with her presence for “Double Dhamaal”.
“We needed her for five days and Indra Kumar, who is a dear friend, was sporting enough to lend Mallika to us,” said Bazmee who admits that the item song “Razia goondon mein phans gayi” was an after-thought and therefore created big date problems.
“We had a situation for the song but until recently we had no song. When Pritam (Chakraborty) came up with the song “Razia” we immediately thought of Mallika Sherawat. I’ve worked with her in ‘Welcome’ and we had a good working relationship. In fact, she was supposed to do an item song for ‘Welcome’ which Malaika Arora finally did,” said Bazmee.
The song was apparently called “Sheila gundon mein phans gayi”. But Akshay who had lately done a spectacular “Sheila” number with Katrina Kaif in “Tees Maar Khan” put his dancing foot down. So “Razia” it was.
Indra Kumar’s “Double Dhamaal” stars Sanjay Dutt (who plays Mallika’s husband), Kangana Ranaut, Riteish Deshmukh and Arshad Warsi.
Said a source: “Indra Kumar’s first impulse was to say no. He had the combined dates of all the busy stars and they were shooting in a huge bungalow in Karjat that was supposed to represent Macau. There was no way he could let Mallika go. But Anees and Akshay were adamant. They left the goodnatured Indu with no choice.”
It was said that Indra Kumar had to fudge Mallika’s shots in the group scenes pretending about her presence, but the director denies it.
“No, we didn’t use a body double. But I had to adjust her shots in the group scenes so she could be away for five days. See, when there are a group of actors shooting together the director doesn’t really need all of them all the time. All the actors are unnecessarily kept waiting on the sets because the director doesn’t work out his shot divisions in detail,” he said.
“I’ve been around long enough to know exactly when I need which actor during group scenes. I’ve shot with Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Kajol and Juhi Chawla in ‘Ishq’ ‘together’ when the actors were not on the sets all at once. Anees is an old friend. One has to make such adjustments for colleagues,” said Kumar.