Sometimes, it is all about the choice you make. This perspective is of extreme essence in the Indian film industry, where one wrong choice, whether in the casting or the script changes it all. Here are some of the roles, where the lead actors weren’t the first choices, but they proved themselves as to why they deserved to play the role.
Sunny Deol in Gadar :
Yes, Sunny Deol was not the first choice for the iconic character of Tara Singh. Initially, director Anil Sharma wanted to make a movie on the Kashmir conflict. However, when writer Shaktiman Talwar narrated him the tale of Boota Singh, Anil Sharma decided to make this his central plot.
Initially, he wanted Govinda, with whom he was doing “Maharaja” to essay the same. However, for reasons best known to both, Govinda turned down the offer. Even the choice for Sakina Ali wasn’t easy, as despite Sunny Deol being in the lead role, actresses Aishwarya Rai and Kajol turned down the offer, and the role was given to debutante Amisha Patel instead. The rest, as they say is history.
Now while Shahrukh Khan is well known as the “King of Romance”, there are a few films like Swades and Chak De India that show that he is a capable actor as well. However, did you know that the role wasn’t written for him at all?
Director Ashutosh Gowariker, riding high on the success of “Lagaan”, wanted Aamir Khan to essay the role of Mohan Bhargava. However, things didn’t go well, and Ashutosh had to look for other options. At one point, even Hrithik Roshan was considered for the lead role, but ultimately the role went to Shahrukh Khan, and he nailed it as Mohan Bhargava.
Kareena Kapoor in “Jab We Met” :
Imagine Aishwarya Rai being the “Geet” from “Jab We Met”. Yes, this almost happened, as Imtiaz Ali did not have either Shahid Kapoor or Kareena Kapoor on his mind during the initial casting of “Jab We Met”.
He initially approached Bobby Deol for the lead role, but ultimately the role went to Shahid Kapoor. Likewise, the role of Geet, initially offered to Aishwarya Rai, went to Kareena Kapoor Khan, and unlike other occasions, Kareena’s portrayal of Geet did strike a chord with the masses.
Ajay Devgn in Drishyam :
Can you even think that Ajay Devgn was not actually the first pick for Lord Vijay Salgaonkar? Yes, in 2014, when the Hindi remake of “Drishyam” was being conceptualized, Nishikant Kamat didn’t have Ajay Devgn as his first choice. It was initially Saif Ali Khan who was first approached for the role. Even Akshay Kumar was once considered for the same.
However, in the end, it was Ajay Devgn who was selected for the role. Had it not been for him, we probably wouldn’t have our share of those 2 October memes, something even the original couldn’t achieve!
Shahid Kapoor as Kabir Singh :
Imagine Arjun Kapoor playing Kabir Singh! Yes, had the producers of the movie, based on Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s own Telugu flick, “Arjun Reddy”, had their say, probably Arjun Kapoor would have been essaying the role of the self-destructive medical practitioner.
However, Sandeep Reddy Vanga, who was impressed with the acting abilities of Shahid Kapoor, maintained that it would only be Shahid Kapoor as Kabir Singh, and none else. It is no rocket science to understand what happened else.
These instances underscore the unpredictable and dynamic nature of casting in cinema. Sometimes, an actor initially deemed unfit for a role, can transform it into an unforgettable character, demonstrating the unpredictability and serendipity inherent in the film industry. These actors proved that talent combined with opportunity can create magic on screen, even if they weren’t the first choice.
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