Aishwarya not my enemy: Kareena
Kareena Kapoor is peeved over endless speculation that her accepting Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine has upset Aishwarya and the Bachchan family. “The media has been trying to create enemity between Aishwarya and me, but it hasn’t diminished our respect for each other. We are in different spaces as actors, Abhishek will always be my first hero (they debuted in Refugee, 2000) and I’m 100 per cent sure this will not affect my relationship with any of the Bachchans,” she asserts.
Kareena was the first choice for Heroine, but turned down the film because with juggling five movies —Bodyguard, RA.One, Agent Vinod, Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu and Dhuan — she didn’t have dates to spare. Aishwarya shot for it for 10 days before her pregnancy was made public and filming came to a halt. It will resume in November, with Kareena stepping in, reportedly as the new highest paid heroine in Bollywood. Buzz is that she’s getting R 8 crore. She retorts, “I’ve never discussed money. All I’ll say is that everyone gets what they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Aishwarya has returned the token amount paid to her, and sent a notice to the producers not to use any stills from the shoot she’d done, or her name, to publicise Heroine. Recently, following stories that she was miffed over Kareena stepping in after she’d backed out, her spokesperson issued a press release saying that she had not backed out. Dates had been given and she was removed due to an implied prejudice following her pregnancy. “No one has the right to speak on behalf of Aishwarya on what her reaction is when there hasn't been any,” reiterated the release.
Kareena says that it’s understandable for Aishwarya to be upset: “The media has built this into a huge saga that neither of us want to be a part of. I wish they wouldn’t drag our names into concocted stories. For me, Heroine is just a film I was offered, I’ve come full circle with it. And right now, I’m on top of the world following the historic success of Bodyguard and the tremendous buzz around RA.One.”
In October, her wax model will be unveiled at Madame Tussands, along with a dedicated Bollywood room where all earlier models, including Aishwarya’s, will be grouped together and then proceed on a six-city tour.
There have been rumours of an actor (the reference to Aishwarya is clear) running down Kareena’s statue, saying it’s smaller in size and will open at Blackpool rather than the London museum. Kareena brushes them off, saying, “I hope my figure is a miniature, that’ll be so sweet. It’s an honour to be immortalised at Tussauds anywhere in the world, and no one can take my moment away from me.”