Rhea Chakraborty called up director Rumi Jaffrey at times, when she felt Sushant Singh Rajput needed to cheer up. Read this exclusive interview of Rumi
It was being said that Sushant Singh Rajput was supposed to do a film with director Rumi Jaffrey. I spoke to Rumi, this morning. Excerpts from the conversation:
How did the stage get set for your film with Sushant Singh Rajput?
I met him six months ago and he said let’s do theatre together. After that, he suggested that we should rather do a film. We worked together in Nadira Babbar’s Ekjute. He was much junior to me. He really cared for me and the same from my side. He liked the films I made in the 90s. In fact, he called me up one day and said that he wanted to come home and discuss the idea of working with me. I was very happy that I would be soon working with such a fine actor.
Before Ekjute, I had done a play called Laila Majnu, which Annu Kapoor had directed. The dialogue has a lot of poetry. Sushant said let us redo that.
I spoke to Annu Kapoor. Sushant and I met Anu for 2 days and discussed the thought. After some time, Sushant said that we would rather do a film.
And let me tell you, Nadira Babbar was also supposed to be a part of this film and she still doesn’t know. Rhea Chakraborty was the female lead.
You see, plays need a lot of block dates. So, even I thought that a film would be better.
Vashu Bhagnani was supposed to produce the film?
Yes. Sushant and I first discussed a fair amount of ideas. I suggested that we should go to Vashu; Jackyy (Vashu’s son) was his friend. Vash quite liked the whole thing and agreed.
Did Sushant suggest that you cast Rhea?
No, I had worked with Rhea in Chehre, which was supposed to release in February and was then pushed to April. The film is delayed due to lockdown. Rhea is a good-looking and talented girl. She has given a fab performance in Chehre. Our film with Vashu was a biggie.
Again after some time, Sushant suggested that we would rather make an Alfred Hitchcock type of film as he realised that it won’t be easy to shoot the Vashu movie anytime soon as the guidelines for shoots to get underway would be very strict.
Did you meet Sushant and Rhea together while exchanging notes on the Vashu film?
Did you feel at any point that Sushant was upset about something?
No, but he was undergoing treatment for depression.
He told you himself that he was undergoing treatment for depression?
Yes. In fact, Rhea used to sometimes call me to come home saying that if I did, he would cheer up. And I used to readily go.
Rhea must be very tense?
Obviously, since they were good friends. But she believed that he would be alright; her father is a doctor.
Did you ask Sushant why he’s depressed?
Yes, but he did not answer that.
When did you last connect with Sushant?
On June 12, I sent him a voice text asking him if he was fine. HIs ex-manager had committed suicide a couple of days before that.
Did Sushant reply back?
What did he say?
He thanked me for asking him and said that he would meet soon.
Aaj bhi lagta hai ki his death is a bad dream and my phone will ring or a text would come flashing his name. Raat ko neend hi nahin aati after he passed away.
On June 14, did you learn about Sushant’s death from TV channels?
No, my assistant called to tell me about it.
Did you meet Sushant’s family after his demise?
No, there was a very short list of 20-25 people who were allowed in the crematorium. After that, they soon left for Patna.
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