After all the hoopla and friendly-banter on Twitter between Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan while welcoming her on-board his next film Bharat, Salman Khan was as taken aback as fans when Priyanka Chopra decided to walk out of the project. A few weeks back, Ali Abbas Zafar, the director of Bharat who also directed Salman Khan in Tiger Zinda hai (2017), had put out a cryptic message hinting that Priyanka is leaving Bharat (no pun intended) because of her marriage plans with boyfriend Nick Jonas.
But that could very well not be the case at all, news dropped after her exit that she has signed on to star opposite Chris Pratt, who plays MCU superhero Starlord in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, in a Hollywood flick titled Cowboy Ninja Viking. Meanwhile, rumours were abuzz that Salman Khan is upset with Priyanka over her abrupt exit from the project.
While the director has spoken about his disappointment over her unprofessional behaviour while also recast her in the film with Bollywood diva Katrina Kaif, Salman Khan had been silent throughout the drama until yesterday. At the trailer launch of his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma’s upcoming film Loveratri, Salman finally opened up about the entire fiasco.
“I am really happy for her. Uss waqt hum ko ye pata chalta ke unhone wahan par koi bahut badi film sign ki hai aur hume thoda pehla pata chalta to hum waise bhi usko kabhi rokte nahi (If we had known about her big Hollywood project at the time, we wouldn’t have stopped her anyway. But we needed to know well in advance),” the Race 3 actor told Pinkvilla in an interview and added: “End moment pe pata chala, shooting ke 10 din pehle pata chala. Shooting shuru ho gayi thi meri, par unke schedule se 10 din pehle pata chala ki who picture chhodna chahti hai. (She informed about her exit at the last minute. 10 days before her shooting schedule while I had already begun shooting for the film).”
Salman also revealed that when Priyanka wanted to exit the project (Bharat) she gave a different reason (probably her marriage to Nick Jonas) and it’s only later that Salman found out (speculation) that she has singed up for a Hollywood film with Chris Pratt.
“Uss waqt kuchh alag reason diye gaye the hame. Jo bhi reason hai, shaadi ka reason ho, ya picture ka reason ho, ya unko India main nahi kaam karna, ya mere saath nahi kaam karna, sirf Hollywood film aur TV show karna hai, wo unka reason hai (She had given us a different reason at the time of her exit. Whatever the reason may be, whether she’s getting married, or she doesn’t like the film, or she doesn’t want to work in India or doesn’t want to work with me, that’s her choice. We are really happy and supportive about her doing good work).”
Clearly Salman was quite hurt by the entire incident because he mentions the fact that Priyanka might not want to work with him twice or his quote could also be insinuated as that fact that Priyanka chosing to work with Pratt over Salman may have dented the actor’s ego to an extent.
“Agar yahan pe kaam nahi kare to kya hua, waha pe to who Hindustan ka naam roshan kar rahi hai. Agar Salman Khan ke saath kaam nahi karna, waha ke kisi bade hero ke saath kaam kar rahi hai to Hindustan ka naam to roshan hota hai na (If she doesn’t want to work Bollywood and instead in Hollywood, Priyanka is still making India proud. If she doesn’t want to work with Salman Khan and instead with a big Hollywood star, she’ll still make us all proud back home,” Salman concluded.
Meanwhile, Ali Abbad Zafar’s Bharat also stars Disha Patani and Nora Fatehi of Dilbar song fame. Fans on the other hands are rather happy that Priyanka exited the film and was replaced by Katrina. The movie going audiences loved Salman and Katrina’s Tiger Zinda Hai and are hoping the revival of the same sizzling chemistry between the two Bollywood stars on the big screen when Bharat hit theatres.