Mahesh Bhatt’s Latest Protege Makes Unscheduled Debut


Imran Zahid

MUMBAI: If you saw the tall amiable rookie cop who accompanied Randeep Hooda in the initial scenes of ‘Jannat 2’ and then vanished, you might want to know that he is Mahesh Bhatt’s latest protégé Imran Zahid. Imran played the shoe-throwing journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaidi in Mahesh Bhatt’s stage adaptation ‘The Last Salute’. He is now being launched as one of the leading men in ‘Jism 2’. Imran is also the lead in Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Chandu’, a bio-pic on the slain Jawaharlal Nehru Unversity student leader Chandrashekhar Prasad. With such lofty plans up his sleeves one was shocked to see Imran making a ‘gust’ appearance in two fleeting shots with Randeep Hooda and Brijendra Kala.

Even more shocking is the fact that Imran himself was shocked to see himself in ‘Jannat 2’!!!

The revised plan after Imran’s role in ‘Jannat 2’ did not shape up as one of  the leads was to scrap his role completely and re-launch the actor in the Bhatts’ ‘Jism’. That’s the way Subhash Ghai had dealt with Madhuri Dixit’s career. After he shot a dance sequence with her in ‘Karm’ and felt she had the potential to become a full-fledged leading lady, he scrapped the dance and launched her in ‘Uttar Dakshin’.

Imran had been promised that his part would be completely scrapped and re-shot with another actor.

Shell-shocked after seeing himself unannounced on screen Imran blurted out, “I can’t believe I saw myself in ‘Jannat 2’. I was not meant to be part of it. I had left the film after the first schedule. My part was taken by an actor called Rajinder, the cop who gets shot at the end. I don’t know why the director Kunal Deshmukh decided to keep my shots.” Strangely days before the release of ‘Jannat 2’ Mahesh Bhatt had announced  on a micro-blogging site that Imran would be making his debut not with ‘Jannat 2’ but ‘Jism 2’.

Says Imran, “Honestly I’m in shock. It was officially decided that I won’t be part of ‘Jannat 2’. The ethical  thing to do would have been to remove my scenes completely and re-shoot with my replacement.” Imran admits this two-bit appearance could damage his career. “Magara ab jo ho gaya so ho gaya.It can’ be undone,so no point crying over it. It was Mahesh Bhatt Saab’s decision that I opt out of ‘Jannat 2’. He thought I didn’t fit in. Maybe they were unable to re-shoot all my scenes.”

When asked about Imran Zahid’s unceremonious, unannounced and uncredited debut in ‘Jannat 2’, director Kunal Deshmukh said, “Imran and I decided to part ways because his role didn’t shape up well. I couldn’t re-shoot the scenes with Imran that were shot on the ISBT bridge and in Pahadganj in Delhi. Those were tough location to shoot in. And we couldn’t obtain permission again.”