The real reason why Sushmita Sen is staying away from all promotion and publicity of No Problem is the Anil Kapoor-Akshaye Khanna pair. They seem to have taken on the onus of promoting the film.
"And why not? Anil is the film's producer. He's also a renowned limelight-hogger. He loves to make his presence felt. Sushmita has no problem with that. But she wants to know, who's the lead pair of No Problem? Sush and Anil, or Akshaye Khanna and Anil? Anil adores Akshaye, who was his leading man in his first production Gandhi My Father. Anil loves to shower Akshaye with compliments. But you can't do that at the cost of the rest of the cast. Sushmita certainly doesn't appreciate being sidetracked in this way," say a source.
To his credit, director Anees Bazmi doesn't try to sweep the problem under the carpet. He admits there's a problem regarding Sushmita.
Says Anees, "About a fortnight ago, there was a photo session with Rahul Nanda. Sushmita did not turn up for it. I don't know why. I haven't had a chance to ask her. The result of her absence from the photo-shoot was that she is now missing from all the posters and hoardings."
Ask him why Sushmita is not doing any media events and interviews pertaining to No Problem, and Anees says, "I wish I knew. But she is not. I haven't had a chance to ask her. But I want her to know No Problem is as much her film as Anil's and the rest of the cast. Sushmita is a big star in her own right. She definitely would add to the film's audience if she participated in its publicity. However, that was not to be."
Anees says that he's addicted to working with Sushmita. "I've had such a good time directing her. If I had my way, she would be in all my films. I'll try to accommodate her in as many of my films as I can, just like I do with Anil. I don't know whom she had a problem with. It was certainly not me."
This is not the first time when Sushmita has distanced herself from her film's publicity. During Kalpana Lajmi's Chingaari, Sushmita cut herself loose when she felt the film's romantic lead Anuj Sawhney was trying to get publicity at her cost.
"The scenario is not very different this time," says a source.