Arjun Rampal is in the midst of controversies. And it pertains to the astronomical fee he seems to have quoted to two leading film-makers -- Ramgopal Varma and Suneel Darshan. There's talk that when RGV approached Arjun to enact the lead role in SHANTI KUTIR, Arjun agreed to do the project and quoted Rs. 1 crore as remuneration. RGV backed out and signed someone else instead. With Suneel Darshan, it was a case of Arjun rubbing the film-maker the wrong way, insist rumour mills. According to sources, when the maker of ANDAAZ approached Arjun for his soon-to-be-launched BARSAAT, the actor not only demanded a crore, but also told the film-maker that he'd be able to shell out dates for the project in 2005. While RGV kept quiet about the issue, Suneel decided to make it public by talking to the press and revealing the reasons that prompted him to 'drop' Arjun from the project. "It's up to me to quote what I feel is right. That's my prerogative," Arjun clarifies, "Similarly, it's up to the maker to accept or reject the demands that I make. That's his prerogative." Let's begin with RGV, I tell him. "There was no problem with RGV," Arjun reveals, "Contrary to what people think, I was not negotiatiating any project with RGV. I had signed SHANTI KUTIR and even allotted dates to Ramu-ji. I was eager to be a part of the project and I clearly remember that the makers were contemplating signing Lara Dutta then. Somehow, the dates didn't match and the makers approached Sushmita Sen. But matching Sush and my dates was a problem." Please continue. "Simultaneously, there were problems with the owner of the buyngalow, where the film was to be shot. That's when Ramu-ji called to say that we'd work some other time. There was no unpleasantness whatsoever. Had that been so he wouldn't have approached me again for his new film. In fact, now that we're talking about it, let me inform you that I've already signed his forthcoming project." But Arjun does look disturbed when we discuss Suneel Darshan and BARSAAT. "It all started with Mr. Darshan approaching my secretary. My secretary was very clear before we met that my dates were unavailable for the next one year and also the kind of remuneration I charged. Yet, Mr. Darshan insisted on meeting me." He continues, "When I met Mr. Darshan, he gave me a narration of the story, but prior to that revealed that the project would roll after two months and that he'd require dates on an immediate basis. When I expressed my inability to allot the required dates, he asked me to think again, adding that BARSAAT would change my fortunes as an actor. But I politely refused the offer." "The next thing I know, Mr. Darshan has gone to the press citing my remuneration as the reason for my 'ouster' from his project. Really, that was too much. However, he did a complete somersault later and told my secretary that he'd never spoken against me. I even asked him to give it in writing, which he refused."
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