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Amrita opts out of <i>Victoria 203</i>

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Amrita Arora has dropped out of Kamal Sadanah's Victoria 203, being directed by Anant Mahadevan. The film, a modern-day remake of the original, stars Jimmy Sheirgill, Anupam Kher and Om Puri.

Says Amrita, "I am not doing Victoria 203. There is a contractual problem. It was a very restrictive contract and impossible for me to fulfill, since it didn't permit me to do other things. It was a professional decision. I am very disappointed as it was a good film and a strong role. I would have loved to be a part of the film, bout it's sad that we couldn't meet on a middle ground. I hope to work with Anant and Kamal in the future."

Contract problems

Sources close to Amrita add, "Amu's doing Atul Agnihotri's Hello, and she and best friend Kareena Kapoor have also signed shows for Castrol in Delhi and Mumbai in February and March. The tight contract that Kamal's production company, Angad Arts, wanted, would have made it impossible for Amu to fulfill those commitments. It was a contract for a newcomer, not for Amrita, who has been in the industry for several years.

They came up with the contract at the last moment in December. The second schedule of Victoria 203 was to start from January 4 but now Amrita is not a part of that. Amrita tried to sort it out but that didn't happen."

The reason for the new contract was because the producer got a different set of financiers who came with a very strict time-bound contract that required the artiste to give 100 per cent attention to the film. So much so, that future dates for other commitments would have to be approved by Angad Arts. Amrita felt that this was too restrictive and opted out.

Bad advice

Kamal Sadanah, the producer of Victoria 203 says, "Amu is no longer doing the film. We had some contractual problems. Our contract is very strict and covers a lot of issues. Amrita had lots of reservations about several things. She wanted to change it completely and that wasn't possible. The contract had guidelines followed by everyone in the industry.

It wasn't abnormal and all the other stars had signed theirs. I couldn't listen to Amu as that would mean favouring her. We had given it to her in November but her advisors requested us to change the contract completely and advised her against signing it."

Is he disappointed that she walked out, considering Amrita is a family friend? Says Kamal, "Yes, I am. I feel very bad for Amrita. I can't understand who her advisor is and why he is doing this. Amrita's role is a very strong one and the film has some superb music. I didn't realise when I signed Amrita that I was signing up her lawyer, too," laughs Kamal.

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