If Nausheen Ali Sardar has decided to stage a comeback in Ekta Kapoor's popular TV serial Kkusum (Sony), one of the reasons (apart from KaalCchakra's dismal ratings) is Amjad Khan's director son, Shadab.
The TV actress replaced Perizaad Zorabian, who was the original lead choice in Khan's directorial debut, Highway 203. But later, she was unceremoniously dumped from the project and Perizaad was signed on again.
Says Khan, "I had planned to launch the film with the title Accident with another group of producers.
The film was to be launched with Naseeruddin Shah and Perizaad Zorabian initially, but things didn't work out as I could not pay Perizaad the amount she wanted. That's when I thought of casting Nausheen Ali Sardar. I was all set to launch the film in February but my producers backed out."
While the project was stalled, another set of producers, Prince Dandona and Ashok Khanna stepped in and revived the film.
"Unfortunately, by now Naseer sir was busy with other commitments and could not give me dates. I had no other option but to realign the script and make the writer younger and cast Kay Kay Menon instead," adds Shadab.
So why did Shadab dump Nausheen and approach Perizaad once again?
"When I checked up with distributors, a lot of them warned me that my project would cease to interest them if I cast Nausheen. They said she was known more as a TV actress and suggested that I revert to Perizaad," says Shadab.
He then approached Perizaad once again and this time around everything fell in place. But Khan did not tell Nausheen about it until much later. "I admit it is my fault that I did not muster up enough courage to tell Nausheen that I am not casting her after having promised her.
I had written the story when I was just 16 years old. Though it is just 16 days since we launched the project, I'm glad that more than 50 per cent of the film is complete," he says.
Perizaad plays a double role in Highway 203 — the wife of the writer (Kay Kay) who is suspected to have murdered his wife, and as a wannabe actress who traps the writer.