Are replacement actors lucky for Bollywood projects

Besides the letter 'K', what do Karisma Kapoor and Kajol have in common? Siblings who dropped out of their first films!

Karisma's younger sister Kareena had actually begun to shoot for Rakesh Roshan's "Kaho Na...Pyar Hai" when there was a problem with the director.

Roshan wanted to shoot a song with the leading lady and his son Hrithik who also happened to be the film's leading man and a fabulous dancer.

Kareena and her mother, in their collective wisdom, thought the debutante wasn't ready for the challenge. Taking affront to the interference, Roshan quickly asked Kareena to leave and signed the eager-to-please Amisha Patel.

The film made box office history.

Now in the Rajshris' new teenage love story "Uff Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai!", Kajol's sister Tanisha was given the marching orders after half the film had been completed. During an outdoor shooting schedule in Ooty the debutante's reported demands and tantrums took their collective toll on the habitually cool Rajshris.

When they couldn't take the highhandedness any more they asked Tanisha to pack her bags and leave.

The unit was stranded without a heroine in Ooty. A replacement, Pooja Kanwal, was found and flown in for shooting overnight.

Would Pooja prove as lucky for "Uff Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai!" as Amisha did for "Kaho Na...Pyar Hai"?

There is a small but revealing record of replacement actors creating history for the film. Zayed Khan stepped in as Hrithik Roshan's eleventh hour replacement in Farah Khan's "Main Hoon Na" after Hrithik had already shot for the film!

And now "Main Hoon Na" is going great guns at the theatres.

So the question again. Is there a connection between replacement actors and successful projects?

Rinke Khanna had shot quite a bit for Ram Gopal Varma's "Company" before she was found to be too young to pass off as Ajay Devgan's leading lady. The hawk-eyed Varma immediately decided Rinke was wrong for the character. He immediately got Manisha Koirala to play the don's mistress.

Watching Manisha go through the paces, who would've thought she was a last-minute replacement, almost an afterthought in "Company"?

In Bollywood, actors being asked to leave after shooting for a film isn't an unknown phenomenon. Sometimes it's due to death.

When actress Divya Bharti plunged to her death one fateful night she left many projects stranded. In Raj Kanwar's "Kartayva", she was replaced by Juhi Chawla.

The inimitable Gulzar got rid of Rekha when she objected to the presence of a journalist on the sets of "Namkeen". Sharmila Tagore stepped into Rekha's role and won herself a fresh round of hosannas for the performance.