A-lister or newcomer: the item song debate

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Should one get an A-lister or try a new actress – that is the sizzling debate brewing between producer Sajid Nadiadwala and director Sajid Khan over a pending item song in Housefull 2.

The actress for the big-budget under-production film will first have to go through close scrutiny by both the Sajids.

While Khan favours the tried-and-tested formula of getting an A-lister actress on board, Nadiadwala feels the item song by a hot-and-happening actress has truly been done to death and to keep audiences’ interests alive in the cult of the item song, the phenomenon of the surprise dance must really and radically be re-invented.

“Really, after Munni and Sheila and all the others there’s not much that can be done with an item song with just a big-name actress dancing to it,” Nadiadwala argues and favours a new stunner to perform the item song in Housefull 2. Or else, the enterprising producer who has set aside a budget of Rs.95 crore for Housefull 2 wants two A-listers for the item song.

However, Khan apparently feels that Jacqueline Fernandez who was a virtual unknown when she performed the item song to the remixed version of the Bachchan chartbuster Apni to jaise taise in Housefull proves that an item song by a solo performer is very much a commercially viable proposition. The number was to be originally performed by Sushmita Sen.

After the copyright-related harassment that Nadiadwala faced after using the old hit Apni to jaise taise, he wants to record a completely new item song for Housefull 2.

Says Nadiadwala, “Creating a new excitement in the item song has become very difficult. All the top actresses have been seen in item songs. What do we do?”

Khan was more guarded in his response, “It’s early to say anything about it. We’re shooting it after three months.”

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