Did you know actress Shanthi Priya walked out of Sunny Deol’s Veertaa? The film, directed by Shibu Mitra, was released in 1993. Veertaa also featured Jaya Prada, Neena Gupta, and Bengali actor Prosenjit Chatterjee. In a recent interview with Siddharth Kannan, Shanthi Priya revealed she had to walk out of the film due to “narration” issues. The actress, who was paired opposite Prosenjit in the film, said, “The narration was different from what we were doing on the sets. We were shooting a song sequence, and it felt as if I was some junior dancer. Jaya [Prada] ji was there, Sunny [Deol] was there, then Prosenjit [Chatterjee] ji was there from Bengal. We were paired opposite each other, and Jaya Prada and Sunny Deol were playing together. So, I felt that something was going on. My character wasn’t going the way I was told. Maine secretary ko phone kiya aur bola ki mujhe nahi lagta hai ki jaisa bataya gaya, vaisa jaa raha hai. [I called my secretary and told him that something is not working out. The movie isn’t going as narrated.]” At that time I was doing Phool Aur Angaar and all. So, Salim [Akhtar] ji was very particular ‘Shanthi don’t do any kind of movie because it will then affect my movie also.’” Salim Akhtar backed Phool Aur Angaar, which also starred Mithun Chakraborty, Paresh Rawal and Prem Chopra. The Ashok Gaikwad movie was released in 1993.
Shanthi Priya added that she was threatened by the makers after she decided to walk out of Veertaa. “We [Shanthi Priya and team] called the producer and said, ‘We don’t want to do any movie.’ Then thoda sa dhamki diya ki aapne itna footage kiya hai kaise hoga [We were threatened too.] So we said, ‘Jo hume narration diya hai, woh nhi kiya.’ So, it just fizzled out like that,” the actress said.
When asked about how Sunny Deol reacted to the incident, Shanthi Priya added, “Mujhe nahi lagta hai unko malum bhi hai iske bare mai [I don’t think he knows). I really don’t know. We didn’t have this communication or at that time social media wasn’t that bold. Social media toh us time tha hi nahi. Toh itna spread bhi nhi hota tha (We didn’t have social media at that time. So things never used to go viral).”
During the same interview, Shanthi Priya recalled how she was dropped from films because of her skin colour and no bikini rule. “I was dropped from films a lot of times. Sometimes for my colour. Sometimes it was me because I said I didn’t want to wear a bikini. It was like that,” she quipped.
Earlier, in a chat session with Siddharth Kannan,Shanthi Priya revealed that Akshay Kumar had commented on her complexion on the sets of the 1994 film Ikke Pe Ikka. She said, “It is a sensitive topic. I don’t think he [Akshay Kumar] realised that. In front of everybody, he asked, ‘Did you get hurt? Did you fall down somewhere?’ I said, ‘No, why?’ He said, ‘What happened? Why are your knees so dark and black? Is that a blood clot?’”
Shanthi Priya was last seen in the web series Dharavi Bank, in 2022, opposite Suneil Shetty.