Anil Kapoor and Akshay Kumar appear to be heading for a clash over the cast credits of Anees Bazmee"s Welcome. As is the practice in Bollywood, if two actors are playing equally important roles in terms of footage, then the name of the senior actor appears first.
So when Anil heard that in the Welcome credits, Akshay Kumar"s name appeared before his, it didn"t go down with Anil who was a part of the film industry a decade before Akshay tropped in.
Says a source, “Anil wanted the names to appear in order of seniority and called producer Firoz Nadiadwala last week and told him to ensure that the protocol was followed."
Akshay was told about Anil"s request by the production house. The makers felt that if this was the case, Feroz Khan who was the seniormost, should get top billing. It is learnt that Akshay then jokingly said to put his name last in the credits or wherever, provided the seniors got their due."
Director Anees Bazmee confirms, “I"ve heard that Anil called Firoz and desired top billing as he"s senior to Akshay. In No Entry too he had billing over Salman. If we are talking seniority, then Khansaab"s name (Feroz Khan) should come first. And if and when Mr Prem Chopra appears in a film today his name should come right on top. He"s the seniormost."
Anil Kapoor, however, denies calling the producer. “The producers must have taken a call after deciding what they felt is right or wrong. I don"t know what is the current billing. These are minor issues. If originally Akshay"s name had been put by Firoz, that"s not wrong too because he deserves top billing in terms of his huge star power today. But I don"t think it is important to bother about these things."
Anil recalls that when the producer of Andar Bahar had given Jackie Shroff top billing he had spoken to the producer and asked him to change it. “I was starting off in bit roles and I wanted to make my position clear. In the initial stages of my career, I might have done these things out of insecurity but now such things don"t matter."