By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: Salman Khan is not known to promote newcomers beyond a certain point unless he is part of the cast of a film, like did when he was the lead in Jai Ho.
But for Pulkit Samrat and Bilal Amrohi, who co-star in Salman’s brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri’s O Teri, Salman is pulling out all stops.
According to sources from within the production, Salman would be taking time off for city to city tours with Bilal and Pulkit, for the first time in his career. In this endeavour Salman would be shuffling around with his shooting schedules for Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kick and various other commitments to make time for O Teri.
And Salman’s yatra from the newbies starts in Delhi this week.
Salman is currently shooting for Kick in Delhi.
Informs debutant Bilal Amrohi, “Salman Bhai is in Delhi right now. He has asked Pulkit and I to join him there, so he can promote the film with us. Bhai would be accompanying us on various city tours.”
Bilal admits Salman has never gone so out of his way for any film before. “But then he is more than family to us. The Amrohis are very close to Salman Bhai and his family.”
Salman’s father writer Salim Khan was very close to Bilal’s grandfather the legendary filmmaker Kamal Amrohi and to Bilal’s father Tajdar Amrohi.
O Teri was planned with Pulkit and Bilal, both favourite protege of Salman.
Bilal confesses he is closer to Salman’s brother-in-law than to Salman. “I call Alvira Khan ( Salman’s sister, Atul Agnihotri’s wife) ‘Baby Maa’. I feel I have three mothers. My biological mother, then my Uncle Shaandar’s wife who has brought me up like her own child and Baby Maa. I am blessed, I guess.”
It was to get away from all this triple-layered mothering that Bilal took a 6-month acting course in Los Angeles.
“I deliberately chose a city where I had no family and friends, to learn acting. I was on my own in LA for six months. That helped me to grow up,” says Bilal who admits the O Teri project first went to his co-star Pulkit Samrat who is Salman’s raakhi-sister’s fiancé.
Says Bilal, “It was Pulkit who came across the script. He tok it across to Salman Bhai who immediately warmed up to the script and told Atul Agnihotri, ‘Bro-in-law, we have to make this film’. That’s how O Teri happened.”
Bilal can’t wait to see how audiences react to the film. “Pulkit and I play two squabbling Tom & Jerry type tv journalists. We start off as bumbling fools and end up as reluctant heroes. I couldn’t have asked for a better launch and I couldn’t have hoped for a better producers to launch me.Salman and his family are like a second family to me.”