It was Priyanka Chopra Jonas who had initially shown interest in being a part of ‘Bharat’, according to actor Salman Khan, who says her last-minute exit from the film was “embarrassing”.
Now that the film is over and ready for release, does he think that Chopra Jonas may have been a wrong casting choice for the role?
“No, not a wrong cast. But initially, Priyanka was very keen to do this film. Ali [director Ali Abbas Zafar] and we all thought it was Katrina Kaif’s film. But Katrina and I did ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ just before that and Ali said that we need a girl who is ‘Hindustani’.
“I tried telling him, ‘Why can’t she [Kaif] pull off this role? She has been living in India for the last 20 years.’ But then Ali said, ‘Priyanka ka phone aaya tha… [we got a call from Priyanka] and it is also true that Priyanka and my sister Arpita Khan are good friends.
“After all this, the Nick [Jonas] story happened, the embarrassing thing happened and she chose to get married.”
“Look, she did the right thing. She did what she wanted, and Katrina got what she deserved,” Khan added. “[Chopra Jonas] informed us five days before the schedule was supposed to start... she must have thought that in this way I would get upset with her and will never work with her.
“She spoke to me saying, ‘Nick has proposed to me and I want to get married, so there will be some date issues’. I said, ‘Sure, get married, we can adjust those two, three days. Then she said that she does not want to do the film.”
While he believes Chopra Jonas is a hard-working actress, he said it takes guts to leave one of the biggest films of her career to get married.
Soon after leaving ‘Bharat’, Chopra Jonas signed on for ‘The Sky Is Pink’.
‘Bharat’ releases in the UAE on June 4.