MUMBAI: While the rest of ‘English Vinglish’ would be identical in both the Hindi and Tamil versions, the ‘Man In The Plane’ with Sridevi would be the Big B in Hindi and Ajith in Tamil-Telugu. Ajith shoots for the film next week. Some quick last-minute rush-rush hush-hush shooting is on for Sridevi’s comeback film English Vinglish. Apparently the Big B is no longer going to be part of the Tamil version of the film.
Tamil star Ajith who replaces the Big B in the Tamil version will shoot with Sridevi next week.
To rewind a bit , the Big B had blissfully done a cameo in the film where Sridevi’s character on the way to the US for the first time, runs into a stranger and has a long and deep and conversation with him at the intermission point of the film. It may sound shocking at first to hear that the Big B has been replaced by another actor at the last minute in the Tamil version . But the fact is, the decision has been taken by mutual consent.
Says a source close to the project, “the Big B has never done a Tamil film before. And though he was game to do a cameo in that language for Balki’s wife’s maiden film, Balki felt it would be inappropriate for the Big B to make his Tamil debut in a cameo appearance. Ajith seemed a far better bet to play that vital cameo. Balki approached him on his wife Gauri Shinde’s behalf and Ajith agreed.Who would say no to a role with Sridevi in her comeback film?”
[pullquote_right]Balki felt it would be inappropriate for the Big B to make his Tamil debut in a cameo appearance.[/pullquote_right]
When asked about this last-minute change the film’s producer Balki played it cool and said, “Yes, we’ve decided to re-shoot the Big B’s portion. He makes an appearance at a very important juncture in the film and he puts across the essence, the thesis , the philosophy of the film. In his 3-minute appearance with Sri he summarizes the film’s theme and tells us that a language, any language, at the end of the day should only be given the importance it deserves. No more no less. Now if we have the Big B doing Tamil it would become another linguistic debate altogether. So yes, we’ve decided to replace the Big B’s portion with Ajith…Sadly so, because the chemistry between them is amazing. Do you remember the scene in ‘Khuda Gawah’ where Sri touches Amitji’s beard? That’s the emotion Gauri(the director Gauri Shinde) has captured in those three minutes that they’re together in ‘English Vinglish’. In fact when I saw Sri and Amitji together I wanted to cast them in my next directorial venture. Sadly what I’m writing for Amitji now has no scope for a leading lady. It’s a pity we had to remove it in Tamil and Telugu.”
Adds Balki, “Ajith is a mega-star. I am honoured to have him play Amitji’s role in the Tamil version.”