Actors Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi agreed to take pay cuts to work in the 2010 hit “Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai” owing to the ongoing recession at that time, director Milan Luthria has said.
“Out of the blue, in April that year, a half-page story idea landed in my lap. It was sketchy but engaging, and I signed the film soon after. The recession continued and the budget of the multi-starrer was reviewed many times till it was finally green-lit.” the director recalled.
Director Milan Luthria wanted Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi in his film. He took steps to ensure that his vision became a reality.
“The recession worsened, and I had to request both Ajay and Emraan to take a small reduction in their fee in exchange for a back end profit share.” he said.
“I agreed on going ahead with this thought only on one condition — that my fee would also be deducted proportionately, otherwise it would be unethical for me to ask the actors for the same.” Milan Luthria said.
The period gangster drama featured Ajay, Emraan, Kangana Ranaut, Randeep Hooda and Prachi Desai in pivotal roles. It was released on July 30, 2010 and received great reviews. It was a box office success.
The film was followed by a sequel, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara! It starred Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan. The sequel was produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor.