Bollywood Casting Ideas That Were Ditched Last Minute (Phew!)
Posted On 22nd November, 2016 @ 12:12 pm by Debanjan Dhar

There are good movies and then there are iconic movies. We’re talking about movies that people still swear by -- movies that have changed lives,

There are good movies and then there are iconic movies. We’re talking about movies that people still swear by -- movies that have changed lives, perceptions, fashion, and how people talk or look at things. In other words, the films that have reached a cult status. What if we told you that these movies that you wouldn’t want to change anything about had completely different ideas as far as the protagonists are concerned? Yes, each one of these titles dodged a big bullet as they decided not to go with their original casting ideas. 


1. Tom Cruise instead of SRK in DDLJ





Imagine DDLJ without Shah Rukh Khan standing in the middle of sarson ka khet with arms wide open. Just the thought of it seems like blasphemy, doesn’t it? Aditya Chopra was probably set to exchange a seminal success for a disaster of epic proportions by casting Tom Cruise instead of Shah Rukh Khan for the movie. Thankfully, Yash Chopra stepped in and made Adi Chopra realise that Tom Cruise might be cool, but he’s no mandolin playing – leather jacket sporting – rugby playing Shah Rukh Khan cool. 


2. Aishwarya Rai instead of Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai







Who can forget the tomboyish Anjali who transforms herself into a graceful lady over a questionable eight-year time lapse? But, Kajol, who was easily one of the most sought after of actresses of her time was not debutant director Karan Johar first choice -- he first approached Aishwarya Rai for the role, but she refused it.  Incidentally, he’d also approached Twinkle Khanna to play Rani Mukherji’s role, who was finally named Tina after Khanna refused the 


3. Abhishek Bachchan instead of Farhan Akhtar in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag







Farhan Akhtar looked tailormade for the role of legendary sportsman Milkha Singh in his epic biopic. Akhtar’s ripped physique, his earnest disposition of a small town Olympics aspirant, and his intense dialogue deliveries were just what the role needed. However, director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra had initially wanted to go with Abhishek Bacchhan for the role. We just don’t see that working, so phew. 


4. Hrithik Roshan instead of Aamir Khan in Dil Chahta Hai 







Dil Chahta Hai is the Holy Grail of coming-of-age movies in Bollywood. It taught Bollywood how to cut the cheese, excuse the drama and yet portray human sentiments in a way that’s as real as it gets. At the center of all that magic was Aamir Khan. Hrithik Roshan is quite the Greek god himself but he’s got nothing on the twinkle in Khan’s intensity and innocence.  


5. Danny Denzongpa instead of Amjad Khan in Sholay 






The Bhutiya khurki would have done a great job as Gabbar Singh in Sholay no doubt. However, the world would have never known of a terrific talent called Amjad Khan. Javed Akhtar had already rejected Khan for the role saying his voice is too weak for Gabbar, and Sanjeev Kumar wanted the role so much that he even stained his teeth to look like a disgusting dacoit. The odds didn’t seem to be in his favour, but Khan did his homework well by reading up on Chambal dacoits from the book Abhisapth Chambal written by Jaya Bachchan’s journalist father, Taroon Kunar Bhaduri. 


6. Salman Khan instead of Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar 







The intense anti-hero with only revenge in his heart, Ajay Sharma a.k.a Vicky Malhotra was probably the first bad guy that Indian audiences related to. It’s hard to imagine anyone else pulling off such a quietly fierce character with such charm. At a time when Bollywood heroes would refuse negative roles fearing a permanent damage as far as their image was concerned, Khan’s bold choice was quite commendable and it sure got him a huge fan following during his initial years. Thanks to Bhai for refusing the film. Maybe they should hug more. 


7. Shatrughan Sinha instead of Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay 







That tall, brooding man who played the harmonica by the porch on lonely afternoons and shot bullets off his gun like he  belongs to the Wild Wild West, Jai from Sholay is undisputedly one of the most iconic characters in the history of Indian cinema. No matter how loud and thunderous Sinha’s “KHAMOSH’’ is, we can’t imagine anyone but Bachchan taking on the badass Gabbar. 


8. Shah Rukh Khan instead of Aamir Khan in Lagaan 







This one’s a little tricky because Shah Rukh Khan saying ‘’Sharat manjur hai’’ sounds just as good in our heads as the original dialogue by Aamir Khan. But for a film like this, we’d still take Aamir’s sincerity over Shah Rukh’s dramatic flair. 

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