Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has already started filming for the new ‘Pink Panther’ sequel and has been photographed doing the same in Paris. If reports are anything to go by, this could be Ash’s big ticket to Hollywood, establishing her as a mainstream Hollywood actress and raising her profile substantially. But the big news is that this could well have been Shilpa Shetty‘s big Hollywood project too.
According to confirmed sources, Shilpa was approached for the film some two months for the character of Sophie. However, she turned down the Harald Zwart directed film for reasons best known to herself.
Though it’s still unclear as to whether Shilpa was approached for the same role that is being currently essayed by Ash in ‘Pink Panther 2′, it’s obviously a big loss for the dusky beauty. After all, the ‘Pink Panther’ franchise has a world wide following and this ongoing sequel to the iconic film has a great cast comprising of big names like Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina and John Cleese.
Shilpa was unavailable for comment and hence we got in touch with her spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar. Asked a stunned Bhagwagar, “How did you come to know about this?” But later he admitted, “Yes, Shilpa was approached for the film, but she is not a part of it.” He refused to comment further.
Some time back, it was reported that even superstar Hrithik Roshan was offered the role of ‘Vincente’ in this Columbia Pictures/Sony/MGM film. But after careful consideration he decided to back out as ‘owing to the kind of career high that he is enjoying currently, his first international project needed to be chosen quite carefully’. Though there are not enough reasons given, chances are, Shilpa’s reasons were similar to that of Hrithik Roshan.
Currently there is tremendous buzz building up about Shilpa, whose popularity has increased manifold post ‘Big Brother’. She’s even being considered for the next Bond film opposite Daniel Craig. Interestingly, Aishwarya was approached by casting agents for a Bond film way back in 2004, which unfortunately didn’t materialize. If things work out for Shilpa, this could end up being the biggest Hollywood break for any Indian actress and also a classic ‘role reversal’ kind of a situation. So wait and watch to see whether Ash’s loss ends up as Shilpa’s gain or not.