News|February 2, 2012 1:38 pm

Ranbir Kapoor’s loss, Prateik Babbar’s gain

Unlike other fake ‘encounter specialists’ which emerge everytime a new pair is introduced in a love story, the Amy-Prateik chemistry in ‘Ek Deewana Tha’ is for real.

The entire unit vouches for the twosome being absolutely smitten with one another. Do we see Smita Patil smiling down from heaven?

Says director Gautham Menon,

Our film is getting a positive vibe. People are saying the lead pair is looking good together.

And to think it could have been Ranbir Kapoor romancing Amy in ‘Ek Deewana Tha’. Gautham Menon is one of Tamil cinema’s leading lights of filmmaking. But in Mumbai Ranbir Kapoor doesn’t know him, nor wish to work with him.

Apparently when Menon wished to approach Ranbir for his new Hindi film, the star refused to meet him.

Embarrassed to talk about his failure to connect with the Kapoor star the hurt and angry Menon, who has worked with the likes of Kamal Haasan, Madhavan and Suriya in the South, finally admits,

Ranbir was my first choice for ‘Ek Deewana Tha’. I tried to get in touch in with. Forget about meeting Ranbir. I couldn’t even meet his secretary. Yes, even the secretary refused to meet me.

This is when Gautham turned away, his pride and dignity seriously challenged, to sign Prateik for the film.

Says Menon,

One reason why I’ve taken 11 years to make my second Hindi film is because I am comfortable working with the stars in the South, as they are with me. In Mumbai, I feel like a stranger. In fact I’ve had a number of offers to direct Hindi films. Vipul Shah wanted me to do the Hindi adaptation of my film ‘Kaakha Kaakha’. I declined the offer. Nishikant Kamat directed the remake ‘Force’.

Now after his bitter experience with Ranbir Menon has become even more wary of Mumbai and its stars.

Menon can take solace in company. Increasingly a wide spectrum of director are complaining about how inaccessible Ranbir has become.

Sudhir Mishra wanted to cast Ranbir in ‘Driver’ . He’s been waiting for months for a meeting. Raj Kumar Santoshi wanted to do a sequel to ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ with Ranbir. Katrina Kaif was willing. Ranbir was not.

Incidentally, Ranbir loves romancing half-foreigners on screen: Katrina Kaif in ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’, Sarah Thompson in ‘Raajneet’.