Here’s why Rhea Chakraborty was absent during Chehre promotions despite key role

Mumbai: Actress Rhea Chakraborty will make her return to the big screen this year with ‘Chehre’ after being at the centre of a vicious social media trial following the demise of actor-boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput last year.

While the film’s producer, Anand Pandit, had previously said that he was not going to address Rhea’s absence until the right time arrives, he has now revealed during an interview with The Indian Express, that the promotions will primarily focus on the lead actors Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi.

“Tell me, whose film is it? It’s Mr Bachchan and Emraan’s film. So, my focus has to be on them. Then there are other artistes. My focus cannot be on the other artistes. My focus has to be on my lead actors. That’s one. So, I cannot promote my smaller artistes.” On why other actors like Krystal D’Souza, and Raghubir Yadav are then being promoted, the producer says that the focus on Krystal is because she “plays Emraan’s love interest in the film. So, that’s why we have to do it,” he said.

Pandit felt it would be selfish and insensitive of him to use Rhea in the promotions to grab eyeballs even as she continues to battle hate from a section in the audience. The producer says he took Rhea in confidence about his decision and only after discussing with her he went ahead with promotions.

“A lot of issues have happened in Rhea’s life over the last one year. I never wanted to give another turmoil to her… till the time she is not comfortable (promoting the film). For my project or benefit, I don’t want to create ripples in somebody’s life.”

“Since the beginning I was committed that Rhea would be a part of the film irrespective of what happens. The whole cast and crew praised my stand that I would have her in the film. There was no question of replacing her or shortening her role. But we decided that we will bring her (in public) at an appropriate time, whenever she is comfortable. I asked her if this was okay with her. Our conscience was pure. I was not fearing any backlash,” says the producer.

The first official poster of Chehre released on February 23, but without Rhea Chakraborty’s mention. Not only was she missing from the poster, the makers and the primary cast– Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi– refrained from mentioning her on their social media handles while promoting the film’s first look.

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Rhea was last seen in Jalebi, which released in 2018, and was backed by Mahesh Bhatt. She confirmed that she was a part of Chehre on social media.