Ash-Abhishek link-up no publicity stunt: Dutta

MUMBAI: News reports about Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan’s impending marriage have now made way for further speculation about the link-up. Are the reports planted in the press as publicity for their impending release Umrao Jaan? If so, by whom?

Director JP Dutta is more amused than incensed by the suggestion that his production house has orchestrated reports of the Ash-Abhishek romance. Laughing dryly, Dutta said: “What will I be held responsible for next? The Kargil war, just because I made a film about it?”

Dutta sobered down. “To suggest I’d mastermind a romance between Abhishek and my heroine who’s also like a part of my extended family is slightly incestuous and weird. Also, it doesn’t help my film much. The romance in Umrao Jaan comes to a tragic end.”

After a hearty laugh, Dutta said: “Seriously, ‘Umrao’ doesn’t depend on any star presence. It’s the story that works for the stars. The stars don’t work for the story.”