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Priyanka & Shahid are 'Friends'

Posted by Mohan Desai On 1:07 PM

While they have to make public announcements saying that they have clearly moved on, the actor is silently but surely scaling new heights. An internet search engine says he’s the “most searched guy’’ — even more than current hotties Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan; 68% of his fans are women; he has one of those designer-made, eight-pack physiques; he has four back-to-back releases —Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey, Ken Ghosh’s Yahoo, his best buddy Ahmad Khan’s Paathshaala (it’s only a special appearance) and, Yash Chopra’s Hadippa with Rani Mukerji. “When I’m finished with these projects, I will start work on Parmeet Sethi’s next for Yash Chopra again with Anoushka Sharma (the Rab Ne girl),’’ says the reluctant talker who’s been completely off the media radar “simply because I feel work is all I should talk about’’. Ok, we’ll start with talking shop. Is Parmeet Sethi’s film an extension of Dhoom 2, with some heavy dancing thrown in, as is being speculated? “No,’’ he says. “I can’t discuss the script or storyline right now, but it’s certainly not a Dhoom 2-like film as is being reported,’’ Shahid says. Asked to tackle his own reputation of being the most “interfering’’ guy on a set, Shahid gamely explains, “Listen films are my raison de etre. On a set I am like a wired animal. I keep asking my director — can I come from the left or should I come to the right? Should I wear my shirt out or does it look better tucked in? Now if someone is going to report all this and equate my work queries as ‘insecurities or interference’... then what I am to say?’’ Currently this 28-year-old star is on pins and needles because his next release Kaminey comes with sky-high expectations. “Yup, Vishal Bharadwaj says my role is going to definitely surprise the audience. It is a hugely challenging role, very different from Jab We Met, and though JWM is the reason why Vishal signed me for Kaminey —both roles are poles apart.’’ Kaminey also brings with it the Priyanka Chopra romance angle; it is being extensively reported that the two lead stars of the film are dating each other. “I’m not left with much of a choice, am I?’’ asks Shahid. “I’m linked to all my co-stars. With Kismat Konnection it was Vidya Balan, now with Kaminey it is Priyanka.’’ Smiling, he adds, “Priyanka and I are good friends. However, people have been jumping the gun. If we take our relationship further, I may talk about it; but people are in a rush to link us together. I will not lie or hide a relationship but I will not stand on the rooftop and announce it either.’’ Ok, but will he at least confirm the last rumour that said he asked for Rs 18 crores for a film? “I will neither recognise nor reject that figure because I don’t wish to talk about my remuneration,’’ he says, adding, “My first film was made at a budget of Rs 3.50 crores; and now I’m being asked whether I charge six times that amount? The only thing that takes you forward in life is a hit. I definitely don’t wish to be short changed; but I don’t make unreasonable demands either.’’

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