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Shahid Kapoor is the quintessential Bollywood hero, says Prernaa Arora on casting him for ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’

Shahid Kapoor is the quintessential Bollywood hero, says Prernaa Arora on casting him for ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’ – Shahid Kapoor is on cloud nine. 

Padmaavat has opened in cinemas to a stupendous response and now, he is all set to start shooting for Batti Gul Meter Chalu, a social drama in which he will be seen as a lawyer. Helmed by Shree Narayan Singh (of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha fame), it deals with the issue of electricity theft that’s prevalent in the country. Producer Prernaa Arora of KriArj Entertainment, who is backing it, opens up about working with Shahid and signing him for two more movies…

Shahid is talented and skillful

Having followed the star’s work closely, Prernaa was keen to rope him in for Batti Gul. She says, “Shahid is the best thing that has happened to us for this film. I was in awe of him after watching Padmaavat. He’s done a fantastic job in it. So, I’m happy that I got a chance to collaborate with him right after the period drama.” The producer adds that both she and director Shree Narayan felt he would be apt for their project. “It was a mutual decision to cast Shahid. As for him, he liked the story and the setting.”

Prernaa mentions that working with Shahid would be a learning experience for her, too. “He’s got a positive vibe and is intelligent. He has creative inputs, which work well for us. He’s been very collaborative with us,” she states. She tells us that she has always wanted to work with the young actor. “I’ve been a huge admirer of Shahid’s work. I loved him in Kaminey, Haider, R…Rajkumar, and Rangoon! I always knew that someday we would be working together but I was patiently waiting for a strong subject which I found in Batti Gul. Shahid has always challenged himself with each film. He can dance, do action and is great with comedy. He’s good-looking, talented and dedicated. He’s the quintessential Bollywood hero.”

‘He immediately signed Batti’

Shahid is known to be an actor who’s picky about the films he chooses to do. However, he signed Batti Gul almost immediately. “I knew Shahid is particular about anything he does. But he came on board instantly. Creatively, it’s a huge achievement for KriArj. Shree and Shahid will make for a good combination. Batti Gul is one of the biggest films for our production house,” she added.

Mira — the matchmaker

Just as Shahid’s wife, Mira Rajput, was the one who told him to do Padmaavat, in the case of Batti Gul, too, she played an instrumental role. “Mira read the script first as Shahid was travelling and told him that he must take up our film. She played a crucial part in getting him and us together on this project. I want to thank her for this collaboration,” says Prernaa.

Tehri chalo

Batti Gul goes on the floors on February 9, the same date when the producer’s Pad Man releases in theatres. “We will start filming at Tehri, a small town in Uttarakhand and will complete the shoot by April. The movie will release on August 30.” She adds, “Shahid has started attending workshops and is doing his prep. He is going to surprise everyone with his performance.”

Fantastic 4 for KriArj

Prernaa is happy with the way the script has shaped up, thanks to the efforts of Vipul Rawal, Siddharth-Garima and Shree Narayan Singh. She says, “The concept is by Vipul, who had written Akshay Kumar’s Rustom. Siddharth and Garima, who wrote TEPK, have penned it. For me, this script is my biggest asset. And Shree is someone who deals with any subject sensitively. He makes an entertainer from an issue which the government and the citizens together want to find a solution to. It’s beautiful how he does it.”

The leading ladies

While it’s essentially an author-backed part for Shahid, the actresses too have crucial roles in the social drama. The producer explains, “Shraddha, who is playing the leading lady, is doing something in the film, which she has never attempted before. Yami has an extraordinary part too as she and Shahid play lawyers.”

Two more to go

KriArj is known to repeat their talents. Whether it’s Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan or Shahid Kapoor now, the makers have always planned multiple projects with the actors they are already working with. And now, comes the biggest revelation. “We have signed Shahid for two other films,” Prernaa continues. “Sometimes when two people start complementing each other’s work, it’s only better if they carry forward the association. After Batti, Shahid will finish Imtiaz Ali’s film and return to us for our next venture. I can’t reveal the details yet, but we are definitely making three movies with Shahid.”

Shahid Kapoor is the quintessential Bollywood hero, says Prernaa Arora on casting him for ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’