We all know that Priyanka Chopra was Ali Abbas Zafar's first choice for the role of Kumud Raina but the actress left the film to get married to Nick Jonas. Later, Ali approached Katrina for the main lead and the rest is history. In a recent interview to a leading daily, Ali revealed that he has nothing against Priyanka and he still shares a close bond with her. The director said, ''Priyanka was doing the film but things happened. As a friend, she shared it with me and I told that her life is most important. She's still a close friend. We laugh and talk twice a month. I'm very happy for her. And I'm grateful to Katrina for stepping in. I was honest with her and told her I was sending her a script.''
''If she liked it, we'd discuss it further. She's my closest friend in Mumbai, we come from similar middleclass backgrounds, our values are the same, and we discuss everything. But on the work front, we're very transparent with each other. If she doesn't like something I'm doing, she lets me know and vice versa. In an industry where friendships don't last even for months, ours has continued for over a decade. Priyanka's still a close friend. But I'm grateful to Katrina for stepping in... She's my closest friend in Mumbai, we come from similar middleclass backgrounds,'' Ali said.
Ali also praised Katrina Kaif and said, ''She told me it's one of my best scripts and she'd do anything to be a part of the film. She's done a phenomenal job. She's grown as an actor, has a better command over the language now. She was loved in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Tiger Zinda Hai and even her performance in Zero was well received. She's in top form and the maturity she has brought to Madam Sir's character is commendable. There were times when on the sets, Salman would take me to a corner and say, "Sir, yeh scene to Katrina le gayi, ab mujhe kuch karna padega." (Laughs) We are both very fond of her and together in a happy space, so he can crack such jokes.''