Kangana Ranaut cannot stay away from controversy. Never one to take things lying down, she doesn’t believe in being diplomatic for the sake of it. And this has led to several clashes, not just in her personal life but also her professional life. Remember the infamous Simran controversy when writer Apurva Asrani accused her of stealing credit?
Now, there is another person who is in Kangana’s bad books – the versatile and prolific Hindi-Tamil-Telugu actor Sonu Sood who staged an angry walk out of director Krish’s lavish historical epic Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi. All because of leading lady Kangana Ranaut’s alleged high-handedness and bullying. The project is now in the danger of lying incomplete.
Trouble started when Kangana came on record saying the Sonu Sood refused to work under a woman director, an allegation that has never been levelled against him ever.
Kangana confirmed to Pinkvilla about Sonu’s exit from the project but refuted rumours of a showdown. The actor said, “Sonu and I haven’t even met since the last shot with Krish (director) last year. He is busy filming Simmba. He couldn’t even give us tentative dates to match combinations with other actors. The producers showed him the film and writers narrated the patchwork to him...he refused to meet me. He vehemently denied to work under a woman director which is kind of amusing because Sonu is a dear friend and I have even launched the music of a film that he produced on his request. Though the team suggested that they have full faith in me, it seems, Sonu had neither dates nor faith.”
Kangana further added that that Sonu’s part will now have to be reshot. She said, “None of the portions he has shot before will be used because he has spiked hair with gel in his hair (for Simmba). The new team of DOP and editors and our writers of Manikarnika have discarded those scenes so I have to shoot all of that anyway so it’s easy to get another actor on board. Who keeps spiked hair for a period film?”
Kangana also went on to accuse Sonu of adding his own scenes to the film, which were not a part of the script. She said, “He himself wrote his scenes of kushti (wrestling) like Dangal which were never in the script. He and the director shot a lot of stuff which was never in the script and the writers discarded those. Is it my fault? Am I writing the film? He wanted the producers to retain the kushti portions as he made the body for it for four months. How did I know that is happening behind my back? When the writers saw the film, they said they don’t want it.”
Sonu, on the other hand, was quick to issue a statement and refute the rumours. Sonu’s spokesperson stated, according to Pinkvilla, “Sonu has always been a thorough professional and honoured all his commitments. He had informed the makers of Manikarnika about his dates and schedule, well in advance. Inconveniencing the team of his current film, to accommodate the demands of another are against his professional principles. Sonu has taken the higher road ahead and wishes the team of Manikarnika all the best.”
However, it appears, that’s not the entire truth. As reports of Kangana taking over the directorial reins of Manikarnika spread like wildfire earlier this week, more and more ugly stories have surfaced from the locations and sets of this multi-million rupee epic.
Apparently Kangana had showdowns with several members of the cast. But the Sonu Sood controversy, caught everyone’s attention. Apparently when Kangana tried to tell Sood what to do on the sets, Sood, a skilled and experienced actor who has done memorable roles in three Indian languages, retaliated strongly and finally left the film.
Says a very reliable source from the film, “Yes, Sonu has left the film. He is no longer a part of Manikarnika. And he has informed the film’s producers of his decision. He took a lot of trouble from a person who feels she knows how to direct a film without any real qualification to do so. But finally when Kangna officially took over the direction, Sonu could take it no more . He quit the film.”
Sood’s departure from the film puts a massive question mark on the project as he has one of the pivotal parts in the film. Says the source, “When Kangana gradually took over the project she also wanted Sonu Sood’s role to be cut down to size. This was last straw. The normally mild-mannered Sonu just erupted .”
With Sonu Sood’s departure the question now being asked is, would the producers continue to give in to their leading lady’s demands even at the cost of other actors?
Byline: Subhash K Kha with inputs from Bollywood Journalist