Dino and Kareena bonded beautifully when they shot the ICI Dulux Velvet Touch paint ad in Rajasthan with Karan Johar last year.
'Karan played the lead with Kareena while I was just the silent producer. I made her promise that if and when I produce a film she'd have to be my co-star. I never knew the director for my first feature film would have the same idea,' Dino told IANS.
The actor, who is smarting under a double blow - 'Bhram' and 'Anamika' bombed at the box office - is playing it safe. Last year he had signed ad filmmaker Shamim Desai for his first film as producer, but Desai backed out.
'It's an adaptation of a very successful play from Britain. At this stage, I'd rather not say more because someone is always there to pull the rug from under your feet.
'The hit play in Britain was directed by a very talented guy called Pravesh Kumar and now I've hired him to direct my first feature film based on his own play,' says Dino.
The film will be based on one of Pravesh's two hit plays - 'Deranged Marriage' or 'Something About Simi'.
But why Kareena and not Dino's close friend Lara Dutta?
'Kareena suits the role perfectly. It's almost as if the role was conceived for her. She's meant to play the part. In fact, the play is named after her character.'
For the time being Dino has decided to cut loose from all outside assignments.
'For many years I've done films to earn money so I could buy my car, house and a life in Mumbai. Now I need to build a body of work, and just my body,' Dino quips.
He has only one film on the floors.
'In 'Acid Factory', producer Sanjay Gupta and director Suparn Varma have given me a completely new look. I haven't ever grown my hair to shoulder-length. I better do it now or soon it'd be too late.'
'I'm working with Danny and Manoj for the first time and what an experience! I yearn to learn from actors who know more than me. We bond really well. We have to because we're all supposed to be locked up in this factory from which we cannot escape.'
After a moment Dino adds: 'Fortunately, there's an escape route to my career. Making my own films.