Filmmakers Abbas and Mustan Burmawala are upset with Katrina Kaif's attitude and the manner of her departure from their first home production, a remake of The Italian Job. While various versions are being circulated about her reasons for leaving the film, Abbas Burmawala breaks his silence for the first time:
Your reaction to Katrina's walkout from The Italian Job?
We are shocked, hurt and extremely disappointed with Katrina's behaviour. We never expected her to behave like this with us. We have worked with many big stars from Shahrukh Khan to Akshay Kumar but this is the first time that anyone has behaved so unprofessionally with us. We have never hurt anybody and never spoken ill about anyone. Neither do we intend to do that now but we are still in shock as to why Katrina walked out after liking and approving the script and saying yes to it.
We still don't know what happened because she never bothered to pick up the phone and explain the reason to us. She claimed to be excited about working in The Italian Job. When Dostana 2 got postponed, she told us that she would allot us those dates. We kept asking for her dates but she simply vanished.
So when did you know that Katrina wasn't doing the film?
We haven't heard from Katrina at all. We kept hearing rumours that she didn't want to do our film, but we'd always defend her loyally and say that she was in the film. How were we to know what was in her heart? Even now we are clueless as to why Katrina walked out at the last moment when she knew we were starting the film in November. Later we heard from various trade sources that she walked out because she had signed a Yash Raj Film with Imran Khan and thought our banner was not as big as YRF especially since we were launching our first film.
You think she chose to work with Imran Khan (after IHLS) rather than Abhishek Bachchan (after Raavan)?
That's not true. Katrina told us she was very comfortable working with Abhishek. In fact, she was fine with all the artistes. She kept telling us how keen she was to do our film.
There was talk of you offering a role to Priyanka Chopra... maybe that made her change her mind?
She had an excellent role in the film. There was no reason for her to feel insecure at all. We never contacted Priyanka for any role and if we had, Priyanka would not have refused. Katrina was the only actress finalised. How could we talk to any other heroine? We are baffled as to why she changed her mind.
We have finalised the three actors -- Abhishek Bachchan, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bobby Deol and now only the heroine remains. Now that Katrina has walked out, the process of hunting for the lead actress starts all over again, before our shoot starts in November. Katrina's sudden walkout has put us in an awful predicament!