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Madhuri prices herself out of Kamal Haasan's reach
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan has abandoned plans to make a film starring himself and Madhuri Dixit because she quoted a price that was way beyond his budget.
"We just couldn't afford her," regrets the southern maverick.
Long in negotiation over a Hindi-Tamil bilingual featuring Madhuri and himself in the lead, Kamal says that the price she quoted was not only unaffordable in the Tamil cinema scheme of things but also apparently non-negotiable.
"It was more than the entire budget of my film," he laughs.
Rather than face more star tantrums, Kamal Haasan has now decided to do a Tamil cop thriller to be shot by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, who was earlier scheduled to direct the Madhuri-Kamal film. Rao has been roped in to direct the start-to-finish Tamil thriller called "KG".
The cop thriller will have no leading lady for the man, which he admits is "quite a change" from his other films.
"It will be shot in Bangalore. And I play a very stylish cop, actually a detective, quite a change from the boor in my last release 'Virumandi'," says Kamal, currently in Korea for a film festival where his last blockbuster "Virumandi" is being screened.
He has just been awarded a doctorate by a university in Tamil Nadu. "Quite an achievement for someone who never went to school. And I get a doctorate after playing a fake doctor in 'Vasool Raja'. Life is full of ironies."
"Vasool Raja", the Tamil version of "Munnabhai M.B.B.S", is now complete and ready for release.
Commenting on doctors in Tamil Nadu protesting about "Vasool Raja" Kamal retorts: "They didn't like the title 'Vasool Raja' being given to the film about doctors. But since we had no underworld in Chennai we had to make our character a haftawala (extortionist).
"I think the protests were absurd. They felt we were debasing their profession. We had to convince them not to get all worked up about nothing. 'Vasool Raja' is ready, just one song to go. We plan to release it next month."
Kamal is happy with the way "Vasool Raja" has shaped up. "I've played Munnabhai as a goofy idiot. He's who he is because of his upbringing. Sanjay Dutt had a certain image, which lent itself very well to the character. Everyone found him cute. I hope they say the same about me."
He also wants to make an India-Pakistan love story. "That's a fabulous subject. I plan to cast a Pakistani actress in it."