Filmmaker Kushan Nandy has got himself embroiled in a controversy . He started his movie Babumoshai Bandookbaaz (which he is producing and directing) with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Chitrangda Singh in Uttar Pradesh, but last week, his lead actress walked out at the last minute. The actress has accused him of speaking to her very rudely while giving directions about an intimate scene in front of the entire unit. Apparently, Kushan was not happy with the first take and asked her to be more “in-your-face” while performing the sexual act. The actress is said to have left the set in tears and flew back home immediately.
Kushan says, “My film is a thriller with a lot of black humour in it. It isn’t an erotic film the way it is being made out to be. The amount of intimacy in it is as much as in an Ishqiya or a Band Baaja Baaraat or any other regular film. The script of the film was lying with Chitrangda for over a year. Every single scene was explained in complete detail. There has been absolutely no change in her character from the beginning. Every time we met in Mumbai and discussed the film or even when we had workshops, not once did she mention having a problem with any scene in the film or the script in any way.
But the moment she reached Lucknow, all her issues began to surface. She had a problem doing romantic scenes and said they were unnecessary. However, when I explained the need of the script, she decided she would do it only her way.”
The filmmaker adds, “This sudden change in Chitrangda’s attitude took me completely off-guard. Especially, since it was really embarrassing to bring it up in front of the whole unit. I had to give in because if I didn’t, she would refuse to shoot. She knew there were kissing scenes right from the time we had signed her, but she refused to do it point-blank on the set. We were left with no option, but to listen to her every time. But things did not get sorted even then. On the fourth day, she said she was sick and shooting was stalled for four hours with everyone just waiting for her. At the same time, unit members overheard her laughing and joking with her staff in her makeup van. By now, we were really stressed about how we would complete the film on schedule and how her character was going to show in the film and also affect the film on the whole. Either she was not being able to grasp what her character should have been doing or she was deliberately acting the way she wanted to.”
The final straw
That wasn’t all. Kushan says, “My choreographer chased her for rehearsals for three days but her staff would not even allow a meeting with her. Eventually, the song was done with no choreography. She did it the way she wanted. All of this was now hampering the film on the whole. Her performance was suffering. When you are faced with an actor of the caliber of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, you have to be at the top of your game. I tried several times to make her understand what her character was and how it should have been played but she completely refused to see it my way. Finally, on the fifth day, when a scene was explained to her, she refused to do it unless it was changed. Once again, I was left with no choice but to go to her van and try to make her understand. The shoot was again stalled with the unit just waiting for her to step out of the van. She finally did the scene her way. By now, I was exasperated. I made it very clear to her that I was not going to take her nonsense anymore. She threatened to walk out, got into her car and left the set.”
The plan all along…
Kushan, who is now completing some of his scenes with Nawazuddin, says, “That night, Chitrangda called for a meeting which went on till five in the morning. It was here that for the first time she told me she wanted the entire second half of the film changed otherwise she was not interested in doing it. She knew very well how trapped the producers would be after having shot with her for five days. But this time, I simply refused to give in to her attitude and threats. She would have to stick to the script which was ethical. She asked me to look for a substitute and left the meeting. The following morning, her return tickets were booked and that was when she panicked and made her make-up girl call people on the set to find out if the shooting was stalled or if any panic had set in. When she was informed all was normal, she started calling and sending messages to those in the unit who she thought would convince me to change the script because she didn’t want to leave the film. I have seen these messages myself. And this continued even from the airport just before she boarded her flight. This must have been her plan for over a year to come to the set, shoot a couple of days and then start throwing tantrums over script changes. She is totally unprofessional. Anyway, I wish her luck. I am now only interested in completing my film.”
Also check out how Chitrangda stunned on the Lakme Fashion Week ramp in the video right here: