However, reports were earlier rife that Kareena Kapoor Khan and Karisma Kapoor were the first choices for the film. In a recent interview with a news portal, the producer lent a clarification on the same. According to Suneel, Kareena was never a part of the film. Karisma was the first choice for the role which was played by Lara Dutta. The producer added that he was just as enthusiastic to have Karisma as she was to be a part of ‘Andaaz’. However, unfortunately, they couldn’t come to terms with certain aspects.
Elaborating further, he added that they had to cast someone immediately as the shooting was to begin in seven days. Darshan revealed that he had seen Lara Dutta with Akshay Kumar posing on a Filmfare cover. She was in Bengaluru and he asked her to fly down. The producer found her very dignified and felt that she would suit the role of Kajal.
As for casting Priyanka Chopra, Suneel told Bollywood Hungama that some prominent actresses were interested in playing the role of Jia. However, since he had cast one new girl (Lara) already in the movie, casting an established heroine would not have worked. He met Priyanka when he was looking for the second lead and then cast her.
The producer also showered immense praise on Priyanka. According to him, the ‘Desi Girl’ reminded him of someone from the film industry who has evolved into a fine actress. That someone was Rekha and he felt that Priyanka Chopra is going to go the same way. Suneel added that she’s among the finest actresses that we have had in a long time.