- "The 'Nick story' happened, the embarrassing thing happened," said Salman
- "She did what she wanted," Salman said about Katrina
- "Katrina got what she deserved," Salman added
It was Priyanka Chopra who had initially shown keen interest to be a part of Bharat, according to superstar Salman Khan who says her last-minute exit from the film was "embarrassing". Now that the film is over and ready for release, does he think that Priyanka may have been a wrong cast choice for the role?
Salman said in a media interaction in Mumbai: "No, not a wrong cast. But initially, Priyanka was very keen to do this film. Ali (director Ali Abbas Zafar) and we all thought it was Katrina Kaif's film. But Katrina and I did Tiger Zinda Hai just before that and Ali said that we need a girl who is 'hindustani'."
"I tried telling him, 'Why can't she (Katrina) pull off this role? She has been living in India for the last 20 years.' But then Ali said, 'Priyanka ka phone aaya tha... (we got a call from Priyanka)' and it is also true that Priyanka and my sister Arpita Khan are good friends."
"After all this, the 'Nick story' happened, the embarrassing thing happened and she chose to get married."
Salman said: "Look, she did the right thing. She did what she wanted, and Katrina got what she deserved. She (Priyanka) informed us five days before the schedule was supposed to start... she must have thought that in this way I would get upset with her and will never work with her.
"She spoke to me saying, 'Nick (American actor-singer Nick Jonas) has proposed to me and I want to get married, so there will be some date issues'. I said, 'Sure, get married, we can adjust those two, three days. Then she said that she does not want to do the film."
While he believes Priyanka is a hard-working actress, who efficiently maintains her career in Bollywood as well as in the US entertainment industry, he said it takes guts to leave one of the biggest films of her career to get married.
Priyanka, soon after leaving Bharat, opted for The Sky Is Pink.
Bharat is releasing on June 5.