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Is Rituparna Sengupta upset with Begum Jaan director Srijit Mukherji?

Apparently, Vidya Balan was Mukherji's first choice for Bengali film Rajkahini which was finally made with Sengupta. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Vidya Balan will been seen in a different avatar in Begum Jaan. The actress is playing the role of a brothel madam (head) in the period drama directed by Srijit Mukherji. However, it has emerged that Vidya had first rejected the project which prompted the director to make Bengali film Rajkahini (2015) with Rituparna Sengupta. Begum Jaan is the Hindi remake of Rajkahini.

Sengupta, though, was not aware that Vidya was Mukherji's first choice for the film and is reportedly upset with the director.

"I am not aware that he had wanted Vidya in Rajkahini, too. Or why is he saying that today? We were in talks about doing a film together for the longest time. Srijit had told me that he would come to me only when he had a role which matters. I was in Delhi attending an event. When I checked my phone, I saw it had 10 missed calls. He called again and said, 'I have got something very exciting for you.' I asked him to wait for me till I returned and the moment I reached Kolkata he was at my home, ready with the script and concept," Sengupta told DNA newspaper.

Sengupta made this comment after the director told Hindustan Times newspaper that he first wanted to a make bilingual film on the same subject with Vidya.

"Originally, Rajkahini was written to be a bilingual film and I was supposed to cast Vidya Balan to play the role in both the films. Only after I didn't get her dates and things didn't work out, I thought of doing the Bengali film and approached Rituparna,” Mukherji told Hindustan Times.

Before it could jeopardise his equation with Sengupta, the director has now clarified that Sengupta was always his first choice for Rajkahini and that he was misquoted.

"I was misquoted. I had a word with Rituparna and she laughed it off. Rituparna was aware that a bilingual film (Hindi and Bengali) was supposed to be shot with Vidya, but that was scrapped. Then we decided to go ahead with the Bangla version Rajkahini and for that we directly went to Rituparna as we wanted her to do the Bangla version," Mukherji told Press Trust of India news agency.