Actress-politician Smriti Irani has turned down a role in Ekta Kapoor's promotional series "Ek Thi Naayika", as she is reluctant to portray a courtesan.
A Bharatiya Janata Party MP, Smriti prefers to be cautious about her professional decisions. When Ekta, who gave Smriti a huge platform with hit show "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" over a decade ago, asked the actress to play a nautch girl in an episode of "Ek Thi Naayika", Smriti asked for a change. Ekta obliged, and asked Sakshi Tanwar to play the part instead.
Smriti will now feature in another story in the same show.
Confirming the same, Tanuj Garg, CEO Balaji Telefilms, said: "Yes, it's true. Smriti wasn't comfortable playing a nautch girl in the series. So now the story will be shot with Sakshi Tanwar."
Smriti was caught in controversy sometime back when a politician mocked at her as a former dancer who had entered politics only some years ago.
"A few months ago due to a politician's comments on Smriti's acting career, she was involved in a controversy that got blown out of proportion. It seems to have impacted the way she does television now. Smriti has agreed to do a two-episode story in 'Ek Thi Naayika' for Ekta," said a source.
The TV series is a prelude to Ekta and Vishal Bharadwaj's co-production "Ek Thi Daayan". It is a unique marketing innovation to promote a movie via a TV series. Eight female actors will be seen in the show for two episodes each, and it will air on Life OK starting mid-March.