Bhansali wanted to cast Sushant in four films, says police
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali had wanted to cast late actor Sushant Singh Rajput in four of his films, the Mumbai Police revealed in a statement. However, the collaboration could not materialize as Sushant was busy with other projects at that time, Abhishek Trimukhe, DCP (Zone IX) of Mumbai Police said. Sushant passed away last month. Here are more details on this.
Bhansali recorded his statement at the Bandra Police station on Monday for nearly three hours. The 57-year-old director of movies such as Padmaavat and Ramleela reportedly told the cops that he could not cast Sushant due to the actor's unavailability. Hence, the roles were then offered to other stars. Notably, the Mumbai Police is actively probing a "professional rivalry" angle in the case.
After Sushant's demise, many including Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam alleged that the late actor faced a boycott from major production banners and he lost some of his films to other stars. In fact, a complaint was also filed against Bhansali and some other Bollywood bigwigs like Karan Johar, Salman Khan, Ekta Kapoor, and Bhushan Kumar. However, the petition has been dismissed.
Meanwhile, as part of the ongoing investigation, the police has reportedly questioned 34 people. They include Sushant's family, housekeeper, cook, business manager, friends Mahesh Shetty, Mukesh Chhabra, Rhea Chakraborty, and Siddharth Pitani, publicist Rohini Iyer, and Yash Raj Films (YRF) casting director Shanoo Sharma. Last week, Sanjana Sanghi, Sushant's co-star in his final film Dil Bechara, also recorded her statement.
Earlier, the police also sought copies of Sushant's contract with YRF. Further, they questioned two former senior employees of the production company, namely Ashish Singh and Ashish Patil. To recall, Sushant worked in two YRF films, viz. Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015). The cops have recovered medical prescriptions and medications meant for clinical depression from the late actor's home.
The police informed that they are examining the security footage of the building where Sushant lived. However, no CCTVs were installed in the actor's home, the cops added. They also revealed that they are waiting for a response from Twitter with regard to posts allegedly put out from Sushant's account and shared on social media before his death.
Sushant, aged 34, was found dead at his apartment in Mumbai on June 14. The police said he died by suicide. He had been battling depression for the past few months. The late actor's last rites were held in the city on June 15. Subsequently, stars from all walks of life paid tribute to him, as the tragic piece of news surfaced.
A rising star, Sushant first shot to fame with popular television serial Pavitra Rishta. He made an impressive Bollywood acting debut in 2013 with Abhishek Kapoor's critically-acclaimed movie Kai Po Che. He then went on to star in movies such as PK, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, and Sonchiriya. His last theatrical outing, Chhichhore, was a superhit.
Sushant's final movie, Dil Bechara, will be out on Disney+ Hotstar on July 24. Based on John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars, it tells the story of two youngsters: Kizie (Sanjana Sanghi), a girl suffering from cancer and Manny (Sushant), a boy whom she meets at a support group. Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, it also stars Saif Ali Khan and Jaaved Jaaferi.
In case you need help or know someone who does, you can reach out to AASRA for suicide prevention counseling. Their number is 022 2754 6669 (24 hours). You can also contact the Hyderabad-based Roshni NGO at +914066202000 or COOJ at +918322252525. Sneha India Foundation, which works 24X7, can be contacted at +914424640050. Vandrevala Foundation has trained counselors, and their number is 18602662345.