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Jahnvi Kapoor, not Ananya Panday was the first choice opposite Vijay Deverakonda: Liger director Puri Jagannadh

Liger director Puri Jagannadh says he also approached Janhvi Kapoor for Vijay Deverakonda's next film, JGM, but she didn't have dates.

Vijay Deverakonda- Ananya Panday- Janhvi KapoorJanhvi Kapoor was Puri Jagannadh's first choice to star in Liger opposite Vijay Deverakonda. (Photos: Ananya Panday, Janhvi Kapoor/ Instagram)

Liger director Puri Jagannadh has shared that his first choice for Liger, opposite Vijay Deverakonda was Janhvi Kapoor and because she didn’t have dates, Karan Johar suggested Ananya Panday’s name. While talking to media in Mumbai on Tuesday, the filmmaker shared, “I am a big fan of Sridevi ji, so I wanted to cast Jhanvi (Kapoor), but her dates were not available.”

When the filmmaker went to Karan and told him about Janhvi not being available, he suggested Ananya be a part of the film instead. The director said, “After listening to the story, he (Karan) suggested Ananya Pandey.”

On why he decided to collaborate with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions for his first pan-India project, he said, “He is the king. Basically, I love Karan a lot. When Karan saw Vijay’s Arjun Reddy, he had really liked him. Karan had said that if Vijay comes across any good script, he should bring it to him. So, when I narrated Liger’s story to Vijay, he told me that we should take it Karan. So we came here (to Mumbai) and then the collaboration happened.”

There were also rumours that the filmmaker had approached Janhvi for Vijay’s next film, Jana Gana Mana (JGM), a military action film. On this he said, “Yes, we had, but she didn’t have dates. But I definitely want to work with her.”

Jagannadg calls his experience of directing Ananya “amazing”. He said, “She is a firebrand, very active and she is good in confrontational scenes with the hero. We’ve been working on this film for the last two, two and a half years, she has changed a lot. Every three to four months I see a different Ananya. Last song I shot with her, she is perfect now.”

On being asked if he is worried with the kind of hate star kids receive online, and if it’d affect his film because he cast Ananya Pandey, he shrugged it off as “general jealousy” and stated that a good film will receive the love it deserves.

He said, “This is a general jealousy. We all pray to God to make us wealthy and rich, earn thousands of crores, and if you are blessed by god then your kids will become nepo kids only. Why feel jealous about nepo kids? We’ll also become rich and our kids will become rich (laughs).”

The director also shared that the film’s working title was Fighter, but as it was unavailable, he came up with Liger. On being asked why they decided to use “crossbreed hai saalaa” repeatedly in the film’s trailer, he said, “It is a masala item actually, the father is also a fighter in the film, and the mother is like a tiger, a rebel, hence we put it as a punch line.”

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Liger, also starring Ramya Krishnan, Ronit Roy and Mike Tyson is scheduled to release in theatres on August 25, in Telugu and Hindi.

First published on: 17-08-2022 at 02:24:34 pm
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