5 Actors Who Rejected Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas!
Salman Khan To Kareena Kapoor Khan, 5 Actors Who Rejected Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas! ( Photo Credit – Instagram; IMDb )

Devdas is one of the most iconic and successful films in Indian cinema’s history. It starred Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role, while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played his love interest, Paro. Madhuri Dixit and Jackie Shroff also played pivotal roles. But did you know most of them weren’t the first choice of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali? Scroll below for some insightful details!

Based on a novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the film revolves around a wealthy law graduate who returns from London to marry his childhood love. He delves into alcoholism and eventually destruction after his family rejects their relationship. It was the most expensive film made then, with a budget of approximately 44 crores.

Here’s a list of 5 actors who rejected Devdas:

Manoj Bajpayee

Manoj Bajpayee was among the possible options for the role of Chunnillal. However, he was doing only leading roles then and wanted to avoid playing a supporting character. He even openly said that he wanted to play the role of Devdas, but Sanjay Leela Bhansali had satisfactorily narrowed down on Shah Rukh Khan.


The first actor Govinda had in mind for Chunnillal was Govinda. He was a superstar then and did not want to play a side character. The Coolie No 1 actor also agreed to play, given the condition Shah Rukh Khan calls him and convinces him in the name of friendship. That’s what he told Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but it is unknown why things did not eventually work out.

Saif Ali Khan

After multiple rejections, Saif Ali Khan was approached for Chunnilal, but the actor reportedly demanded a huge paycheck. But he later clarified and claimed Sanjay Leela Bhansali closed the chapter without any discussions, so he did not really turn down the offer.

Ultimately, Jackie Shroff was roped in to play the supporting character and cine goers hailed him for his spectacular performance!

Kareena Kapoor Khan

Bebo had declared she would never work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali after their Devdas fallout. Kareena Kapoor Khan was finalized for the role of Paro and was even paid the signing amount. Out of the blue, she was dropped from the film and replaced by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. It was the start of her career and a huge blow for the actress, who later rejected Bajirao Mastani.

Salman Khan

Many would be shocked to hear that Salman Khan was the first choice to play Devdas. SLB knew his strengths and weaknesses after they worked together in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

However, Salman Khan rejected the offer, which gave a freeway for Shah Rukh Khan to be signed as Devdas. And honestly, we aren’t complaining!

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