1. Isabelle’s so-called debut film Time To Dance was in the pipeline for almost a year. It is entirely Salman Khan’s brainchild, with the basic plot, Isabelle’s role and her co-star Sooraj Pancholi, and producer Bhushan Kumar of T Series, all handpicked by Salman.
2. However Time To Dance is not Isabelle’s debut film. Not really. Katrina’s baby-sister made her debut four years ago in French director Jean Fancois Pouliot’s Dr Cabbie. That film had Salman Khan as a co-producer and starred the very talented Indo-Canadian actor Vinay Virmani in the title role. Vinay is Salman’s colleague Akshay Kumar’s close friend entrepreneur Ajay Virmani’s son.
3. But Isabelle was not the lead in Dr Cabbie. She was paired with the film’s supporting actor Kunal Nayyar, and when Salman pitched in as a producer he wanted Isabelle’s role to be upgraded to the lead. However it was too late as Adrian Palicki was already signed opposite Vinay Virmani.
4. However Salman insisted that Isabelle’s role in Dr Cabbie be enhanced. He persuaded the film’s director to add a Bollywood song entitled Dal makhni especially for Isabelle. That dance number became the audition for Isabelle’s Bollywood debut in Time To Dance. Apparently Dal makhni is Isabelle’s favourite Indian dish. Never a “dal” moment when the Kaif sisters are around! Check out the song below:
5. Speaking of the Kaif sisters, it is unlikely that Isabelle will be billed ‘Kaif’ in her Bollywood debut. That isn’t her name. She was billed as ‘Isabelle Leite’ in Dr Cabbie. Kaif is a fictional surname given to Katrina by her mentor Ayesha Shroff when Katrina made her (disastrous) debut in Boom.
6. Apparently Katrina has made it very clear to her sister that she is on her own in Bollywood. No godmothering no sisterly boost from Katrina. In fact Katrina had said years ago, “If and when my sister decides to come to India she will have to rough it out like I did.”
7. Salman was never told by Katrina to mentor Isabelle. He is doing it on his own. It was Salman who decided against casting Isabelle in the film to launch his brother-in-law Aayush as the focus would be on the male debutant. In Time To Dance Isabelle occupies centre-stage.
8. Katrina and Isabelle may not share the same apartment in Mumbai. The elder sister wants the younger to be on her own. It’s not about privacy. It’s about making a career on her own.
9. Interestingly both Katrina and Isabelle are doing dance films for T Series. Katrina’s dance film is directed by Remo D’Souza while Isabelle’s dance film is being helmed by Remo’s assistant Stanley D’Costa.
10. Salman was also to do a dance film directed by Remo D’Souza about a single father learning dance from scratch for his daughter’s sake. Salman wasn’t confident about pulling it off and the project was aborted. This project may be revived soon with Salman and Isabelle in the lead.