Filmmaker Vipul Shah, known for his films such as Waqt, Namaste London among others, is now gearing up for his next film, Namaste England. But this time, his favourite actor Akshay Kumar is missing from the film. The director has had a great equation with Akshay and has collaborated with him in many projects and reveals that he had approached Akshay for the film.
Vipul Shah says, “I was going to do this film with Akshay but unfortunately, his dates were blocked. So he requested me to approach someone else and assured that we’ll reconnect for another film on a later date.” The director then approached Arjun Kapoor for the project. “I went to Arjun and with all honesty, I told him that Akshay was my first choice but dates were not working out. Arjun liked the script that’s how he came on board,” he added.
Namaste England is a sequel to the 2007 film Namastey London, which featured Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar in lead roles. Namaste England also marks the second collaboration of Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, who earlier worked in Ishaqzaade, Arjun’s debut film.
Speaking about why he didn’t cast Katrina, Vipul says, “Katrina could not have been a part of this because it’s a story of a desi girl. I spoke to her about this and explained to her why we cannot work on this project and she understood.”
Refuting similarities between Namaste London and Namaste England, the director says, “When we developed the script, it was very much in the world of Namaste London. The travel from Punjab to England was only the common factor. It has an interesting content with twist and turns which is not out in the trailers.”