salman1-10.jpg” align=”right” alt=”SalmanKhan, Mahesh Manjrekar”>
Salman Khan is known to ask people close to him to do the oddest of things at the oddest hours. And it’s reciprocal. He can land up at a friend’s doorstep at 1.30 in the night with a self-made painting if he gets to know it’s the friend’s mother’s birthday.
It is therefore no surprise to know that Salman rang up Mahesh Manjrekar recently with an offer he, the director-actor, just couldn’t refuse.
“You’re in Bodyguard,” he told Mahesh Manjrekar who has been angling to get Salman to listen to his script for a film that Manjrekar has been meaning to direct with Salman in the lead for a year now.
Now Manjrekar has to join the Bodyguard team from the April 3.
The funniest part of Salman’s film offer is that Manjrekar is clueless about what he’s supposed to play. This has been the case with every offer for a Salman film in the past two years from Wanted and Dabangg to the under-production Ready and now Bodyguard.
Laughs Mahesh, “He hasn’t told me what I play in Bodyguard. He has just asked me to join the unit. I don’t mind. I never ask him my role. Because I know he’s asking me with a good role in mind. I think Salman prefers me to be an actor. He keeps offering me roles in his films. I don’t get a chance to direct him at all.”
Ever since Manjrekar featured in the Wanted, Salman considers Mahesh Manjrekar a luck mascot.
According to a source, “Before Wanted Salman had a spate of flops like God Tussi Great Ho, Yuvraaj and Marigold. Wanted put him back on the top. It had Manjrekar in it. Then came a few duds like Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Veer which had no Manjrekar. Dabangg that followed featured Manjrekar on Salman’s special request.” The rest was hysteria.
For Anees Bazmee‘s Ready too, Mahesh was not told what his role was until he arrived on location in Colombo.
Recalls Manjrekar, “When I landed there, I realized I had a positive role in Ready. Thank God I wasn’t playing a lecher. It was becoming tough for my 17-year old son to explain to his friends why his father was always playing leery characters. Hopefully in Bodyguard too I’ll have a positive role.”
However, there’s ‘bad’ news for Mahesh. When I checked with Bodyguard producer Atul Agnihotri he informed that Manjrekar had a negative role in the film.