Actors who were the original choice for these popular films – Part 1 – Bollywood

One important part of a film is casting. A lot of movies have become a huge hit, and the actors were also praised. But did you know they were not the original choice for these roles. Here are the list of actors who were the original choices of these popular Bollywood films.

1) Chennai Express

Did you know that Katrina Kaif was the original choice to play the role of Meenamma? But she rejected. So many other actors such as Kareena Kapoor and Asin were also in the line, but the role finally went to Deepika Padukone, and now this movie is one of the highest grossing films of Bollywood.

2) Kick

Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Kingfisher model Angela Johnsson were all considered for the female lead, but they all rejected and the role went to Jacqueline.

3) Bang Bang!

Did you know that Shahid Kapoor was the original choice for the male lead? But he rejected and the role went to Hrithik Roshan.

4) 2 States

Originally the role of Krish was offered to Saif Ali Khan, but he refused. Then the role went to Shahrukh Khan and later he backed out. Then the roles went to both Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan, but later they backed off. Then Arjun Kapoor was finalized. Originally the role of Ananya was offered to Asin, Priyanka Chopra and even Anushka Sharma, then Alia Bhatt was finalized to play the role.

5) Dabangg

Did you know that Sonu Sood was originally offered to play Chulbul Pandey? but suddenly things changed and Salman Khan played Chulbul Pandey and Sonu Sood played the antagonist Chhedi Singh.

6) Ram Leela

Kareena Kapoor was originally offered to play Leela but she walked out of the film. Kareena’s loss was Deepika Padukone’s gain. Now Ram Leela is one of the highest grossing films and Ranveer and Deepika pairing has also been loved by fans.

7) Munnabhai

Did you know that Shahrukh Khan was originally offered the role of Munnabhai? Also Sanjay Dutt was offered to play Zaheer the cancer patient. Shahrukh Khan rejected due to date problems and hence Sanjay Dutt played the role of Munnabhai and the role of Zaheer went to Jimmy Shergill. Munnabhai is one of the biggest hits up to date.

8) 3 Idiots

Shahrukh Khan was also the first choice to play the role of Rancho in 3 Idiots but he rejected and Aamir Khan took over the role and is now one of the highest grossing films.

9) Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ)

You would be surprised to know that the original choice for the role of Raj was not Shahrukh Khan. It was Hollywood actor Tom Cruise as the story was intended to be about Indo-American affair. But Yash Chopra, father of director Aditya Chopra was not pleased with it and they changed the theme to NRI. The next choice was Saif Ali Khan, but he rejected and then Shahrukh Khan was offered. At first he rejected and then he agreed. And now DDLJ is the most successful movie of Bollywood, still running in Maratha Mandir theatre.

10) Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

The role of Tina was originally written for Twinkle Khanna but she rejected. Other actresses such as Tabu, Urmila Matondkar, Karishma Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Raveena Tandon, Shilpa Shetty etc were also offered but they declined. Rani Mukerji eventhough she was not offered volunteered to do it and now Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is one of the top movies.

11) Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Did you know that actors Abhishek Bachchan and Akshay Kumar were the original choices for the role of Milkha Singh? But due to the changes of the script, Farhan Akhtar then did the role. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a successful film and Farhan won accolades.

12) Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Did you know that Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan were the original choices for the film? But they declined and the roles went to Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar. Abhay Deol was then added as the third lead. ZNMD is a huge hit.

13) Kal Ho Na Ho

The role of Naina was originally offered to Kareena Kapoor. But she rejected and Preity Zinta was then offered. Kal Ho Na Ho is one of the biggest blockbusters.

14) Rang De Basanti

Arjun Rampal and Arjan Bajwa were also considered as one of the male leads, but the roles went to Sharman Joshi and Siddharth.

15) Sholay

Sholay is one of the biggest blockbusters of Bollywood. But here are some unknown facts. Did you know that the original choice for the role of Gabbar Singh was Danny Denzongpa? but he rejected due to date problems and Amjad Khan was then offered to play, which made him very popular. Another fact was that Shatrughan Sinha was the original choice for Jai but Amitabh Bachchan did it, which made him popular. Pran was considered for the role of Thakur, but the role went to Sanjeev Kumar. Dharmendra was also interested in playing the role of Thakur, but director Ramesh Sippy told him that if he had played Thakur, Sanjeev Kumar would play Veeru which would be opposite Hema Malini and which Dharmendra didn’t want that, as he was trying to woo Hema Malini. Hence he did the role of Veeru.

16) Veer-Zaara

Aishwarya Rai was originally offered to play the role of lawyer Saamiya Siddiqui, but she was replaced by Rani Mukerji.

17) Dil Chahta Hai

Did you know that Aamir Khan was originally offered to play the role of Sid? but he chose to play the role of Akash. Abhishek Bachchan was then offered. After he turned it down, then the role went to Akshaye Khanna. Dil Chahta Hai is one of the biggest hits.

18) Dil To Pagal Hai

Did you know that Juhi Chawla was first offered to play the role of Nisha? But after she rejected the role went to Karishma Kapoor. Karishma also rejected twice before agreeing to play.

19) Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Kajol was initially offered to play the role of Maya Talwar but she rejected as she was busy with ‘Fanaa’ and hence the role went to Rani Mukerji. Also, Rani Mukerji was initially offered to play the role of Rhea Saran and later the role went to Preity Zinta.

20) Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

Sanjay Dutt was originally offered to play the role of Sultan Mirza but the role went to Ajay Devgn.

21) Singham

Anushka Shetty, who originally played the lead in the Tamil version, was offered the lead but she strongly refused stating that she didn’t want to work in Bollywood. Hence Kajal Aggarwal got the role.

22) Delhi Belly

Did you know that Ranbir Kapoor was the first choice to play the protaganist? but he refused and Aamir Khan signed his nephew Imran Khan. Chitrangadha Singh was offered to play the lead but she backed off and the role went to Poorna Jaggannathan

23) Murder 2

Bipasha Basu was originally offered the lead but she refused. Jacqueline eventually did the role which made her popular.Bipasha was also offered the item number ‘Aa Zara’ but she refused that too and that offer went to Yana Gupta.

24) Rockstar

Did you know the original choice for Heer was Katrina Kaif? But she backed off as she had committed to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Kareena Kapoor was another choice but she wasn’t allowed to work with Ranbir Kapoor as they were cousins. Diana Penty was also in the line but Imitiaz Ali suggested her for Cocktail. Nargis Fakhri was then signed.

25) Band Baaja Baaraat

Did you know that Ranbir Kapoor was originally offered to play the male lead? But he rejected and the role went to Ranveer Singh, who made his debut with this movie and thus he became popular.

26) Barfi!

Katrina Kaif was originally offered to play the role of Shruti, but she refused. Actresses Asin and Deepika Padukone were also offered but they too rejected and finally the role went to Ileana D’Cruz. Barfi! became one of the biggest hits and also was India’s official entry to the Oscars.

27) Race 2

Kareena Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha were offered the female lead opposite Saif Ali Khan. Both refused and the role went to Deepika Padukone. Priyanka Chopra was originally offered to play the role of Omisha, but she refused and Jacqueline got it. Chitrangadha was offered to play the role of Anil Kapoor’s assistant Cherry but she refused. Amisha Patel and Mallika Sherawat were in the line for the role, and Amisha Patel finally got the role.

28) Raanjhanaa

Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha were originally offered to play the lead but they both declined as they were working for R..Rajkumar. Dhanush was then offered the lead and thus made his Bollywood debut and Sonam Kapoor was offered the female lead.

29) Bhool Bhulaiyya

Originally Aishwarya Rai was offered to do the role of Avni/Manjulika, and Katrina Kaif was offered to play the role of Radha. Both of them turned down and the role went to Vidya Balan and Amisha Patel.

30) Tere Naam

Amisha Patel was the original choice to play the female lead. After she refused, Bhoomika Chawla, who made her debut with Bollywood played the role.

31) Chalte Chalte

Rani Mukherjee was originally offered but she initially rejected. Aishwarya Rai then agreed to play but she had to leave midway as her then boyfriend Salman Khan disrupted filming. Rani Mukherjee saved the film by eventually agreeing to play the female lead.

32) Ajnabee

The role of Neeta was originally offered to Mahek Chahal (Bigg Boss fame) but the role was given to Bipasha Basu, who made her debut in Bollywood with this film.

33) Kaho Naa.. Pyaar Hai

Kareena Kapoor was originally signed to play the female lead, but she walked out. She was then replaced by Amisha Patel. Kaho Naa.. Pyaar Hai is one of the biggest blockbusters.

34) Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

You would be surprised to know that Aishwarya Rai wasn’t the first choice to play the role of Nandini. It was Kareena Kapoor! But Kareena Kapoor rejected the film as she was in college. Aishwarya Rai once met Sanjay Leela Bhansali and told him that she admired his work in Khamoshi: The Musical. That’s when Sanjay Leela Bhansali decided to cast Aishwarya Rai. Aishwarya Rai won the Best Actress that year.

35) Deewana

Armaan Kohli was initially offered to do Shahrukh Khan’s role, but he walked out and thus Shahrukh Khan played the role, making his debut in films.

36) Darr

The original choice for the role of Rahul was Ajay Devgn, but he turned down due to date problems. Aamir Khan was then offered but he rejected as he wasn’t happy about the way Yash Chopra directed his film ‘Parampara’. Aamir Khan recommended Shahrukh Khan to do the role as he felt he would be perfect for the role. That’s when Shahrukh Khan did the role and won the Best Villain award. Sunny Deol was offered to play both Rahul and Sunil but he chose to play Sunil.

37) Qurbani

The role of Amar was initially offered to Amitabh Bachchan, but he replied that he was only free after 6 months and Feroz Khan didn’t want to wait that long. Hence the role went to Vinod Khanna.

38) Silsila

Parveen Babi and Smita Patil were the original choices, but the roles went to Jaya Bachchan and Rekha.

39) Sadma

Dimple Kapadia was originally offered to play the lead, but the role went to Sridevi, who was also the lead in the Tamil version.

40) Deewar

Rajesh Khanna and Navin Nischol were the original choices for the role of Vijay, but the writers Salim-Javed insisted that Amitabh Bachchan would suit more. This movie gave Amitabh Bachchan the title of ‘angry young man’.Nirupa Roy’s role was originally offered to Vyjanthimala but she turned it down.

41) Anand

Did you know that Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan weren’t the first choices? It was Kishore Kumar and Mehmood. Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee was asked to meet Kishore Kumar to discuss the project. However, when he went to Kishore Kumar’s residence, he was driven away by the gatekeeper due to a misunderstanding. Kishore Kumar who himself was a Bengali had done a stage show organized by another Bengali man, and was involved in a dispute with this man over financial matters. He had instructed his gatekeeper to drive away this “Bengali”, if he ever visited the house. The gatekeeper misunderstood Hrishikesh Mukherjee to be this “Bengali”, and refused him entry. The incident hurt him and he decided not to work with Kishore Kumar. Even Mehmood had to leave the film as well and thus Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan got the roles.

42) Pakeezah

Ashok Kumar who played the role of Shahbuddin was originally offered to play to role of Salim, but the role went to Raaj Kumar.

43) Amar Prem

Original choice for Anand’s role was Raaj Kumar as the director Shakti Samanta felt that Rajesh Khanna who had become a super star after the hit Aradhana, wouldn’t be interested in doing a film around the female lead. However, Rajesh Khanna convinced Shakti Samanta that he would do justice to the role.

44) Aandhi

The role of Aarti Devi was originally offered to Vyjanthimala, but she turned it down. Suchitra Sen was then offered the role.

45) Gol Maal

Rekha was the original choice for the role of Urmila but then she was replaced by Bindiya Goswami.

46) Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Zeenat Aman wasn’t the first choice. It was Hema Malini and Dimple Kapadia, but both turned down as there was sexual content in the film

47) Mughal-E-Azam

Did you know that the role of Anarkali was originally offered to Suraiya? but the role went to Madhubala. Dilip Kumar was initially rejected for the role of Salim. Did you know that role of young Prince Salim was offered to Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain? but the role went to Jalal Agha. Mughal-E-Azam is a very popular film.

48) Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam

The role of Chhoti Bahu was initially offered to Nargis, but the role went to Meena Kumar, which made her popular. Shashi Kapoor was the first choice for the role of Bhoothnath, but he was later rejected as he showed up two hours later. Biswajeet was the other choice, but he refused so Guru Dutt, the producer himself decided to play the role.

49) Sangam

Initially Dilip Kumar was the first choice to play the role of Gopal Verma. He actually agreed but he had a condition, that he should be given the right to edit the final copy of the film. But Raj Kapoor didn’t agree. Dev Anand was then offered, but he rejected and finally the role went to Rajendra Kumar.

50) Jewel Thief

Saira Banu was offered the female lead, but she turned it down and the role went to Vyjanthimala.

51) Ram Aur Shyam

The roles of the female leads were originally offered to Vyjanthimala and Mala Sinha, but they turned it down and the roles went to Waheeda Rehman and Mumtaz.

52) Guide

Saira Banu and Vyjanthimala were both offered the role of the female lead. But they both turned it down and the role went to Waheeda Rehman.

53) Pyaasa

The role of Shyam was initially offered to Johnny Walker, but the role went to one of Guru Dutt’s assistant directors.

54) Mother India

The role of Birju was initally offered to Sabu Dastagir, a Hollywood star of Indian origin. However there were so many delays and hence he was dismissed. Dilip Kumar was then offered, he agreed to play both Birju and Shamu. However, Nargis objected that the public would not accept their casting as mother and son because she had done several romantic films alongside him. Then Sunil Dutt got the role. Mother India is one of the most popular films.

55) Naya Daur

Initially Madhubala was offered the lead role. An advance payment was given to her and shooting began and continued smoothly for 15 days. B.R. Chopra, the director, wanted the unit to travel to Bhopal for an extended outdoor shooting. Ataullah Khan, the father of Madhubala, objected to this and claimed that the entire Bhopal schedule was a ruse to give Dilip Kumar the opportunity to romance his daughter (Dilip Kumar and Madhubala were in a relationship at the time). Finally, B.R. Chopra sued Madhubala for the cash advance she received from him for a film she now had no intention of completing. She was replaced by Vyjanthimala.

56) Devdas (1955)

The roles of Paro and Chandramukhi were originally offered to Meena Kumari and Nargis. But Meena Kumari couldn’t do the role as her husband had some conditions which was not ok with director Bimal Roy. Bina Rai was next offered, but she refused. Suraiya also wanted the role, but the role finally went to Suchitra Sen. Nargis refused to do Chandramukhi as she wanted to play Paro. No one was willing to play Chandramukhi. Since there was no other choice, Vyjanthimala got the role.

57) Mr. & Mrs. 55

Vyjanthimala was offered the lead role, but she refused and the role went to Madhubala. In a recent interview, Vyjanthimala stated that she regretted not doing the film.

58) Zanjeer

The role was originally offered to Raaj Kumar, be he turned it down. Other actors such as Dev Anand, Dharmendra and Rajesh Khanna were also offered but they all turned it down. The role went to Amitabh Bachchan, who was then a newcomer. After this film, the Prakash Mehra and Amitabh jodi never looked back.

Do you think these movies would’ve worked if these original actors played the role?

Wait for my other two parts which will include Hollywood and Kollywood.

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