Bharat: Ali Abbas Zafar is 'grateful' to Katrina Kaif for coming on board
Bharat, which marks Salman Khan's fourth collaboration with Ali Abbas Zafar, stars Katrina Kaif as the female lead. However, Katrina was brought on board only after Priyanka Chopra, who was earlier set to be the leading lady, opted out without citing a specific reason. In a conversation with Mumbai Mirror, director Ali Abbas Zafar said he was 'grateful' to Katrina who agreed to do the film when approached.
"I'm grateful to Katrina for stepping in. I was honest with her and told her I was sending her a script. If she liked it, we'd discuss it further. She's my closest friend in Mumbai. But on the work front, we're very transparent with each other. If she doesn't like something I'm doing, she lets me know and vice versa," he said. In an earlier interview, Katrina also revealed that taking up Bharat was strictly a professional reason and wasn't an outcome of her friendship with Zafar or Salman.
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Kumud Raina 1975 .... I had the most incredible time working on this character, the whole journey has been the most exciting for me yet , after working with @aliabbaszafar in three films. Cant wait for everyone to see the film.
"Ali and I are good friends, but when it comes to work, we are completely honest with each other. I read the script from start to finish in three hours and immediately called him to tell him that I loved it. I realised there was an opportunity of going the extra mile with this character. So, it had nothing to do with my friendship with Salman or Ali. In fact, Salman did not even call me after I signed the film. We met directly on the set," she said.
After Priyanka walked out of Bharat (and got married shortly after), gossip mongers suggested that her relationship with both Salman and Zafar is deteriorating. The director, however, refuted such rumours.
"Priyanka was doing the film but things happened. As a friend, she shared it with me and I told that her life is most important. She's still a close friend. We laugh and talk twice a month. I'm very happy for her," he said.
It's great when all relationships are at peace!