Today marks the 10th anniversary of Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai. It starred Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Prachi Desai & Kangana Ranaut. The film has gained the ‘cult classic’ status over its decade-long journey. But wouldn’t you want to know some behind the scenes scenario?
Koimoi got into an exclusive conversation with Randeep Hooda on the special occasion. The actor played the role of a cop (Agnel Wilson). We spoke to him in length about how he ended up signing the film. For those who don’t know, the Extraction actor rejected the film as many as three times. Read the excerpts from the interview below:
Randeep, Milan Luthria revealed you rejected Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai thrice. Tell us why?
I was very reluctant to play it because I had already played the part of Dawood Ibrahim in D (2005). To play a cop in a gangster heavy film, I thought it would be a step down for me. Milan spoke to me again and again and again.
In fact, once I finished my part, they told me I had to shoot the entire part as an old man as earlier he was planned as a young man. So, I was like ‘What’s going on?’ That’s the reason Milan said that I refused it thrice. But I’m so glad I did it. In a gangster drama like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai to stand out so much as a cope. And has its own cult following and dialogues being repeated overly. So I’m really glad and thankful to Milan Luthria for convincing and persuading me to be a part. I think Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai started a beautiful trend in my career. 10 years later, it’s still one of my strongest performances. That’s a good thing to know.
If no Agnel Wilson, any other role that you would have been keen on playing?
I don’t really look at other people’s role as such once I’m designated one. I was just apprehensive about this part. I didn’t really look at any other part.
How was the journey overall? Share us with some memories that you relish till date!
Rajat Arora (writer of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai) and I whenever would be discussing the dialogues – I would be laughing my head off. The real pompous and filmy nature of these filmy dialogues (reenacting ‘Teri pant and Teri shirt, dono mujhe acha laga’.) He and I would have our little jokes over Old Smuggler (the drink). Once the take started, we did it with as much conviction as one could muster up and the results were just fantastic.