Aashiqui 2Mumbai: When Bhatts announced sequel for his superhit ‘Aashiqui’ and went on record saying that the cast of the film would be decided through an online video auditioning of sorts, it seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity for youngsters looking for a launch in Bollywood. However now after participating in the event many participants are crying foul that the star hunt was just a eyewash to gain publicity for their project. Their allegations are not with out any truth as they found much to their dismay ,that the lead roles have been bagged by Shakti Kapoor’s daughter, Shradha, Aditya Roy Kapoor who had appeared in Action Replayy and Shaad Randhawa – neither of whom had participated in the contest online. This made them furious as they worked hard and uploaded their videos online as part of this star hunt.

Mohit Sinha, who played a young journalist in Milan Lutharia’s The Dirty Picture, had also uploaded his video to compete for the lead role in the film. “But the results are a dampener. The actors who have been finalised are either star kids or have already been part of Bollywood projects. How is it possible that they couldn’t get a single face from those thousands of videos uploaded online? Something is really fishy”, he says.

The popular sentiment is that the star hunt was just a gimmick, and a needless one if the filmmakers had to take people from Bollywood as their stars. Rajeev Sharma, a 23-year-old from Delhi, who also auditioned for the same, is disappointed with the results. “How is it possible that not even one among the thousands of online applicants made it? Isn’t it sort of impossible?” he asks.

Mohit Suri, director of the film says “Frankly, we couldn’t get the talent which we were actually looking for. Of all those who participated in the online auditions, none could match the standards we wanted. As a result, we had to finally approach a few independent casting directors to give us some more faces who could be considered for these roles. The three actors we’ve chosen are all newcomers, so there isn’t much difference between that star hunt and this,” he says.

Reacting to these reports and the angst of the contestants taking part in the hunt, which even includes hate mails on the You Tube page of “Aashiqui 2″, Mahesh Bhatt, producer of the movie, says, “The fact is that it is tough to deal with rejection. Not one person who auditioned on YouTube came anywhere close to our expectations. It is a fact that contestants are claiming that it was all rigged and pre-planned. We have the glorious record of casting a number of young talents in our movies. But this time we were disappointed. As far as casting these three faces is concerned, I would like to get this straight that no ‘unknown’ actor is ever cast without an audition.”

The film makers however support their decision saying no applicant fit the bill to be cast and after three months and a ‘star hunt’ later, have decided to for tried and tested talent rather for new one and so announced the cast of the film.

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