The ban imposed on Pakistan-based artistes working in Bollywood has left the film industry shaken. While Fawad Khan's role in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was cut to size to ensure a smooth release of the film, reports suggest Ali Zafar has been replaced by Tahir Raj Bhasin in Gauri Shinde's slice-of-life film Dear Zindagi.
Bhasin has apparently shot a promotional song for the film, Bollywood Hungama reported. However, this doesn't necessarily mean Zafar is out of the picture; he is not part of the song. A Dharma Productions source told DNA that Zafar is very much a part of Dear Zindagi and it's just that he will not be seen in the song in question.
Late last month, there were reports that Zafar's scenes have been dropped and Alia Bhatt's Kaira will now have one less boyfriend in Dear Zindagi. Apparently, producers Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar thought it wouldn't be wise to keep Zafar in the film. The young actor was also omitted from the teasers.
Dear Zindagi is all about up and coming cinematographer Kaira, who, with the help of her therapist Jahangir Khan (Shah Rukh), learns to look at life differently and embrace it just the way it is, with its little imperfections.
What's more interesting is SRK choosing to essay such an off-beat part on screen. He has always been part of large-scale films, in which outdoor shoots, expensive costumes and plush sets are common place. Explaining to Anupama Chopra in Beneath the Surface, the superstar said he took it up because it's an interesting role and a nicely-made film.
Scheduled to be released on November 25, Dear Zindagi also stars Angad Bedi, Aditya Roy Kapur and Kunal Kapoor as Bhatt's boyfriends, whom she dates over a period of time. The film has been backed by Red Chillies Entertainment, Dharma Productions and Hope Productions.