Although Saif Ali Khan’s first home production, Love Aaj Kal, stars Deepika Padukone opposite Saif, it is Kareena Kapoor who’s constantly been talked about. Strangely, it’s not because Kareena has anything to do with the film but because she’s not in the film. This constant reference to a Rebecca like presence in Love Aaj Kal has irked Deepika. She has apparently been wondering to her friends if Love Aaj Kal should be dedicated to Kareena.

Confirming the news, Deepika said, “This must be the first film in the history of cinema where a leading lady is being talked about so much for not being in the film. No, I’m not annoyed by these neverending references to Kareena. When people see the film I know they’ll come out talking about me and my performance. Director Imtiaz Ali was very sure he wanted only me in the film.” To elaborate her point further, Deepika lets out a secret, “Imtiaz was so sure that he wanted me for the part that he had offered me Love Aaj Kal even before my first film,
Om Shanti Om, was released. Even before seeing me on screen, he knew that I was right for the role. So there was no question of any other actress being in the film.”

Deepika’s subtext is loud and clear. Imtiaz discovered her potential long before he discovered Kareena for Jab We Met. “I wanted to work with Imtiaz when I saw his first film Socha Na Tha. As this wide-eyed teenager, I remember seeing the film and wondering who the director was. I remember many years ago when I was a model, Imtiaz had offered me a film. At that time I wasn’t ready for an acting career. In fact, when I had told him I wasn’t ready to join films, Imtiaz had said, ‘When you’re ready let me know.’ He kept his promise. That’s how I got Love Aaj Kal. So now I’m not affected by people talking more about Kareena than me,” she said.

What about her producer-cum co-star Saif’s on-record wistful yearnings for Kareena’s presence in Love Aaj Kal?

Deepika said, “Considering Saif is in a relationship with Kareena, isn’t it understandable if he wanted Kareena in Love Aaj Kal? They’ve worked together in the past. And I’m sure he wants to work with her in his home production. As for Kareena, if I was in her place I’d feel the same way. Don’t I want to work with Ranbir?”

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