Deepika Padukone has reportedly turned down an offer from Pradeep Sarkar to portray renowned Bengali courtesan-turned-actress Binodini Dasi in an upcoming Bollywood film.
Now, reportedly, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been roped in to play the role.
Writer/director Sarkar is producing the film along with Vasant Thakkar, who has procured the rights to Binodini's noted autobiography Amar Katha [The Story of My Life].
Apparently, the makers approached Deepika some months back
According to a trade source quoted by Bollywood Hungama, "The makers met Deepika a couple of months ago."
The source said that even though Deepika liked the story, she got busy with promotions of her film Chhapaak and "kept them (the makers) hanging in limbo saying that she'd get back to them. Finally, her team reverted saying that she couldn't do the movie."
'Deepika didn't want to do a serious movie'
As per the aforementioned source, Deepika opted out of the project as "she wanted to do light-hearted subjects and not heavy or serious movies, which would consume her emotionally."
Notably, Deepika was last seen on the silver screen in Meghna Gulzar's Chhapaak (2020), based on the life of acid attack survivor and activist Laxmi Agarwal.
Deepika will next feature in Kabir Khan's sports-drama '83.
Now, they have approached Aishwarya
Now that Deepika is out of picture, the makers of the film are reportedly in talks with Aishwarya to do the biopic.
"Aishwarya loved the narration and character graph. She has given verbal nod, but will sign only after reading final script," a source told Mid-Day.
If she signs the film, it will be her next after Mani Ratnam's upcoming Tamil film Ponniyin Selvan.
Earlier reports suggested that Vidya Balan would play the role
Before the makers approached Deepika and Aishwarya for the said role, several reports suggested that they were interested in casting Vidya Balan for it.
Had the plan worked out, it would have been Vidya's second collaboration with Sarkar.
To recall, Vidya made her Bollywood debut with Sarkar's 2005 film Parineeta, for which she also won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
Who was Binodini Dasi?
Binodini Dasi (1862-1941), also popularly known as Noti/Notee Binodini was a Kolkata-based courtesan-turned-theater actress and singer.
Born into prostitution, Binodini started acting at age 12 under the mentorship of famous playwright/actor Girish Chandra Ghosh. She played over 80 roles in different plays. However, she quit the stage at age 23.
She wrote two autobiographies- Amar Katha and Aamar Abhinetri Jeebon [My Life In Theater].