Akshay Kumar has given us some of the most patriotic films that imbibed the feeling of pride! From Mission Mangal to Kesari, these films were beyond the general ‘Bollywood masala.’ But there was a time when Nikkhil Advani did not think Akki would even consider doing a film without a song. He had Irrfan Khan in his mind until the superstar changed his perception! Scroll below for details.
Many wouldn’t know but Irrfan was the first choice for the film Airlift (2016). Director Raja Menon was in fact confident that the late actor would nail the role. However, when Akshay heard of the idea, he convinced them to rope him as the lead instead.
In a recent conversation with Film Companion, Nikkhil Advani himself revealed it all as, “I once went to narrate a film to Akshay Kumar and he immediately said, ‘No this is not for me’. He asked what else I was working on. I said there is this other film that I’m not directing. A director called Raja Menon will make it, it’s based on a real story. It was Airlift. The next morning he said, why won’t you offer this to me?”
Nikkhil Advani continued, “I said because you’ll never do it. There’s no song, the director’s earlier film was Barah Aana… the numbers just don’t add up. Also, Raja wants Irrfan for this part. He said can you please speak to him, I really want to do this”
And the rest is history. But we did see Akshay Kumar in Airlift and he made the most of the opportunity!
Meanwhile, Nikkhil Advani and Irrfan worked together in D-Day. The film also starred Rishi Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Shruti Haasan amongst others.
Would you have wanted to see Irrfan in Airlift?