By Subhash K. Jha, March 25, 2008 – 11:13 IST

UTV’s new project, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge, which took off on Sunday was suddenly hero-less …until Sonu Sood stepped in with gallant dexterity. Hua yun ke, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge ke liye the cast read Zayed Khan, Kunal Khemu, Paresh Rawal and Soha Ali Khan. But then Zayed begged off at the last minute. Apparently, UTV and Zayed couldn’t agree on the price factor.

Instead of wasting time and negotiating with Zayed , UTV immediately got in touch with their new blue-eyed boy Sonu Sood asking for immediate dates. Sonu panicked because the dates were given over to the Rajshri’s for Yeh Vivah Aisa Bhi. “But there was no way I was going to give up this chance,” relates Sonu Sood as he gets ready to enact what he calls the role of a lifetime. “After Jodhaa Akbar, UTV has indeed taken me under their wings. I’ve done pretty embarrassing things in the past like Sheesha. Suddenly, I’m making the right moves. And Dhoondte Reh Jaoge is definitely right.”

Like several recent films like Om Shanti Om, Halla Bol, Mithya and Superstar, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge is set in the film industry. “I play this superstar who’s roped into a peculiar situation. I get to play 11 different characters. I don’t know why Zayed opted out. But I’d have been foolish to not accommodate it into my schedule. I had to request the Rajshris to adjust. They obliged. I’m shooting some of Dhoondte Reh Jaoge now and the remaining part later.”

The film also stars Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu and Paresh Rawal. But Sonu Sood claims he has the main role by default, all thanks to Zayed. “The director Umesh Shukla and Pareshji had done a lot of theatre together. So they are a team. I’m looking forward to working with both of them because I haven’t done anything like this. My son Ishaan is the happiest. After watching me ride horses and fight with swords, he’ll get to see me doing ‘Prem’, a role patented by Salman Khan in Sooraj-ji’s cinema, and then as a true-blue superstar in Dhoondte Reh Jaoge. I think I’m already a star for Ishaan.”