Esha Gupta, Ileana D'Cruz
Pictured: Esha Gupta at wedding reception; Ileana D'Cruz at Anurag Basu's Saraswati puja celebrations.Varinder Chawla

Akshay Kumar's "Rustom" and Ajay Devgn's "Baadshaho" are two very different films set in different time periods. Yet they have something in common and that is the two leading ladies — Ileana D'Cruz and Esha Gupta.

"Rustom" will take the leading ladies back in the 1950s. It's a crime-thriller and loosely-based on the infamous Nanavati case, where a naval officer was tried for killing his wife's lover in cold blood. Whereas, "Baadshaho" is based on the 1975 emergency and a stolen treasure. 

It will be interesting to see the actresses portray varied emotions and characters from different eras. It could be a challenge considering they don't have a massive body of work behind them. 

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, "Baadshaho" director Milan Luthria revealed the entire star cast while giving a little sneak peek into the characters they play. Emraan Hashmi and Vidyut Jammwal are a major part of the project.

"It's an exciting line-up, as all the actors play characters they've never done before. While Ajay is a man of the soil, impulsive and stubborn, Emraan's turn is rustic and twisted. On the other hand, Vidyut plays a cocky guy, while Ileana's character is a charmer, who has people eating out of her hands. Esha's character is a no-nonsense chick. All of them have shades of grey," the "Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai" helmer told the leading daily.

This comes close on the heels of reports claiming that Kareena Kapoor Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have been approached for roles in the film. And that the former beauty pageant winner will play a character modeled on Maharani Gayatri Devi.

Milan has a perfect explanation for these rumours. He agreed that he had approached a few actresses, but nothing had been finalised with them. Also when the script was changed, certain actors didn't quite fit the bill and therefore they had to reconsider their options.

The film will roll in August starting with a 15-day schedule in Mumbai, after which the team head to Rajasthan sometime in November and stay on through December. However, the unit is yet to decide upon the locations in the state.

"Baadshaho" opens in theatres on Jan. 26, 2017, same day as Shah Rukh Khan's "Raees" and Hrithik Roshan's "Kaabil."

Also read