MUMBAI: Bollywood stars are not exactly known to be paragons of generosity. There are many blood-freezing incidents of stars demanding their payment under the most trying of circumstances, driving producers to a state of abject despair.
There is this little-known incident of Bollywood diva, now on a comeback trail, who locked herself in her van and refused to shoot for an epic classic made in the early 2000s that subsequently went on to become a blockbuster.
The director, trying to cope with a producer who was in serious trouble with the law, pleaded with the diva for time. But she was adamant, ‘Pehle paise, phir kaam’ (First money, then work).
Given the reputation that stars have for fiscal rigidity, it came as a pleasant surprise to know that Priyanka Chopra not only desisted from asking a cash-strapped producer for money she even refused the money when it was paid to her.
The producer in question, K C Bokadia has been struggling to release his long-delayed Priyanka-Govinda project ‘Deewana Main Dewaana’. Understandably he can ill-afford to pay his stars any extra money.
However he did manage to send his leading lady a cheque for 18 lakh rupees which she returned saying she couldn’t take money.
Choked with emotion Bokadia says, “I couldn’t believe my eyes when the cheque came back to me. I had sent Priyanka a cheque for Rs 18 lakhs which I owed her. She refused to take it saying, ‘Bokadia Saab, I can’t take money from you.’ I am overwhelmed by her generosity. Times have changed. Emotions have no place in filmmaking today. And yet Priyanka in spite of being one of the busiest stars today has gone out of her way to complete my film.”
Apparently the actress also gave extra dates for the producer-director to re-shoot his film.
Says Bokadia, “In spite of being so busy Priyanka gave me seven days of her time to re-shoot. Without her co-operation I wouldn’t have been able to complete the film. She is my only USP. I am now ready to release my film on November 23.”
This isn’t the first occasion when Bokadia has been at the receiving end of star-generosity. Earlier it was Shah Rukh Khan who went out of his way to accommodate Bokadia.
Recalls the producer, “During the making of ‘Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam’ Shah Rukh let go of Rs 95 lakhs of his payment because of my financial condition. When I insisted he take the money he had argued, ‘Arrey, Bokadia Saab I can make that kind of money in one evening by dancing at a function. Right now you need the money to complete your film.’ After Shah Rukh I’ve seen the same kind of generosity in Priyanka.”