Updated: March 25, 2021 9:39:04 am
Rhea Chakraborty would have a fresh start at the movies in 2021, Chehre director Rumi Jafrey announced in an interview last December. The actor, who found herself at the centre of a vicious social media trial following the demise of actor-boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput, was set to return to the screen with the Amitabh Bachchan-led thriller.
The first official poster of Chehre released on February 23, but without Rhea Chakraborty’s mention. Not only was she missing from the poster, the makers and the primary cast– Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi– refrained from mentioning her on their social media handles while promoting the film’s first look. It was naturally assumed that the makers feared a supposed backlash over Rhea’s inclusion in the film as she continues to be at the receiving end of trolling. Chehre producer Anand Pandit at the time didn’t make a comment.
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Weeks later, Pandit opens up to indianexpress.com about his decision to exclude Rhea from the promotions. The producer first says that his film revolves around Bachchan and Emraan’s characters so it was obvious for him to focus the promotions on the two stars rather than “smaller artistes”
“Tell me, whose film is it? It’s Mr Bachchan and Emraan’s film. So, my focus has to be on them. Then there are other artistes. My focus cannot be on the other artistes. My focus has to be on my lead actors. That’s one. So, I cannot promote my smaller artistes.” On why other actors like Krystal D’Souza, and Raghubir Yadav are then being promoted, the producer says that the focus on Krystal is because she “plays Emraan’s love interest in the film. So, that’s why we have to do it.”
Coming to Rhea’s absence, specifically, Pandit says while the public scrutiny never affected his decision to retain the actor in the film, he knew the media attention could take a toll on Rhea if she participated in public engagements for the film.
Pandit felt it would be selfish and insensitive of him to use Rhea in the promotions to grab eyeballs even as she continues to battle hate from a section in the audience. The producer says he took Rhea in confidence about his decision and only after discussing with her he went ahead with promotions.
“A lot of issues have happened in Rhea’s life over the last one year. I never wanted to give another turmoil to her… till the time she is not comfortable (promoting the film). For my project or benefit, I don’t want to create ripples in somebody’s life.
“Since the beginning I was committed that Rhea would be a part of the film irrespective of what happens. The whole cast and crew praised my stand that I would have her in the film. There was no question of replacing her or shortening her role. But we decided that we will bring her (in public) at an appropriate time, whenever she is comfortable. I asked her if this was okay with her. Our conscience was pure. I was not fearing any backlash,” says the producer.
Chehre trailer released a week ago. It featured Rhea in a blink-and-miss appearance. The film is set to arrive in theatres on April 9.
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