Filmmaker Karan Johar says actresses Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sonakshi Sinha and Alia Bhatt all play pivotal roles in his production ‘Kalank’.
Asked why he introduced his female characters first, Johar said: “We are brought into this world by women. I am raised by strong women and I would say that these three women characters are the heart, soul and spine of ‘Kalank’.
“So, their strength, beauty and intellect [is something] men could never match up [to].”
He was speaking at the film’s teaser launch in Mumbai on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, a time will come when such questions will not pop up any more,” Sinha said.
According to Bhatt, the film, which also stars Sanjay Dutt, Varun Dhawan and Aditya Roy Kapur, among others, is a true ensemble film as “every character is primary”.
Directed by Abhishek Verman, ‘Kalank’ releases in India on April 17.
Dixit Nene said it was emotional to play a role that was originally meant for Sridevi.
The role of Bahaar Begum wad offered to her after Sridevi’s death last year.
“Firstly, her demise was sad news for us and when I was approached for the role, it was not easy for me,” Dixit Nene said. “I have immense respect for her. She was a good artist and a good human being too. To step into the role, when you look into it as an actress, it’s a different scenario as you add your own inputs to the character, but we used to remember her on sets as she was a part of the film. Once you start working, you have to move on and do your job... I did that, but missed her too.”
Johar added that his hopes for ‘Kalank’ go beyond money, as it is a project that was his “father’s dream”.
“After the release of ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ in 2003, I shared the story of ‘Kalank’ with my father [Yash Johar]. Since my father had knowledge about the subject... it became his dream to make the film,” he said.
However, in June 2004 when his father died, though Johar wanted to start shooting the film, he couldn’t gather the emotional strength to do so.
“I was very emotional after his demise and though I prepared myself, I finally couldn’t go on floors to shoot the film. I kept telling the story to everyone, insiders of the Dharma Productions’ family,” Johar said. “Finally, when I shared the story with [director] Abhishek, I felt that if he helms the film, the story will be in good hands.”