A report published by the Business of Cinema says that the makers of Aashiqui 2 had first approached Pakistani television star Abbas for the lead character, a troubled singer named Rahul Jaykar. Abbas, best known for his performance in dramas Malaal, Vasl, Khuda Aur Mohabbat, confirmed that he was approached for the part in a telephone interview.
He explained why he declined the offer. “Ashkay Kumar had offered me a role in Boss,” said Abbas. “So I was under contract. Since Akshay is a friend, I preferred to remain under contract and declined Aashiqui 2. [Boss] was delayed because of its production merits, so it was reciprocally decided that I should not be a part of the film.”
He added, “I was even offered a role in upcoming Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Ram Leela. Both [Aashiqui 2 and Ram Leela] were lead roles, but I declined them as I was bound by contract.”
It is indeed surprising that an actor like Abbas, who has no big film projects to his name, would give up opportunities to star in big budget Bollywood films (seriously, how could someone NOT accept an offer to act alongside Deepika Padukone?!). “I do regret not being in Aashiqui 2,” he admits.
For naysayers who are skeptical about Abbas having received the offers, he says, “The biggest drawback with us is that the Pakistani audience always undervalues its own actors. [They think] we [actors] may be lying. It is certainly not so. Many actors give out crappy statements against the other and I seriously get upset about this.”
Abbas is currently involved with the final shooting of upcoming film Creature – placarded as India’s first 3-D ‘monster movie’ – in which he stars opposite Bipasha Basu. The film is being directed by Vikram Bhatt and is expected to hit screens in February 2014.
When asked if he will do Pakistani film projects in the future, Abbas says, “My connection with Pakistan cannot finish. This will never happen.”
At the end, he added that he is in talks with B-town film-makers for some upcoming projects but that he cannot comment on them as “nothing is official yet”.