Govind Arun Ahuja, who we all know by his stage name Govinda, ruled our hearts in the ‘90s. While the actor has over 150 movies credited to his name, he has also rejected quite a few. Over the years, Chi Chi, as he is fondly known, has not only said no to amazing and hit Bollywood films but even Hollywood films.
From not thinking he suits the character to not wanting to undergo body painting, the reasons behind him rejecting the roles have been consistent over the years. While he said no to these hits, the film went on to work funders for Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor and even Rishi Kapoor.
Scroll down and take a look at the few Hollywood and Bollywood characters Govinda has rejected playing on the silver screen over the years.
This romantic musical by Yash Chopra is considered a turning point in the director’s career and gave Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi one of their best hit. But little did you know that the role of Rohit Gupta was initially offered to Govinda.
Reports claim Chi Chi refused the role as he wasn’t interested in playing a paralysed character within the movie. During his appearance on Rajat Sharma’s Aap Ki Adalat, Govinda opened up about not being part of Yash Chopra’s Chandni. While talking about not getting awards, as this YRF film having the potential to have given it to him, the actor said, “My mother said Govind, keep smiling, dancing and singing and it was her wish that is why I did not do that movie.”
The romantic musical drama by Subhash Ghai starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, and Akshaye Khanna in lead roles. But did you know the role of Anil’s Vikrant Kapoor was first offered to Govinda? Well, that’s true, but he rejected it as he didn’t want to do a character role. FYI: Aamir Khan, too, said no to this role before it went to Kapoor.
During a candid chat with Film Companion, Govinda opened up about his reason for saying no. Chi Chi said, “Govinda said, “Jis waqt maine woh film (Devdas) refuse ki thi, uss waqt maine Taal bhi refuse ki thi. Yeh do jo hai desh ke mahaan shaksiyaton mein se character hai. Parantu main uss waqt top pe thaa aur mujhe aisa lagaa pataa nahi accept hounga kya?” (When I had turned down Devdas, I had also refused Taal. Both the characters went on to become hits, but I was on top of my game then, and I didn’t know if people would accept me in a character role?)
Anil Sharma’s Gadar: Ek Prem Katha released in 2001 and narrated the love story of Tara Singh, a Sikh truck driver from Amritsar and Sakina, a Muslim girl hailing from a political family in Lahore, Pakistan. While we cannot see anyone else play the role Sunny Deol essayed (and pulled out the hand pump), the part was originally offered to Govinda.
Yup. Believe that. As per previous reports, the director was keen on taking Chi Chi as the male lead but following the debacle of Maharaja (1998), also directed by Sharma, the actor changed his mind, and Deol was roped in. As per a newschant post, the Partner actor was initially surprised by the character portrayed in the movie and even spoke to the team about the character’s specific language and violent conduct.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a master of the craft, and there are many actors in Bollywood who dream of being directed by him. It so happens that Govinda was offered a role in his 2002 blockbuster, but he refused it. Why? Well, he felt the character wouldn’t suit him. We, too, agree with Chi Chi; we don’t think he would have done justice to Chunni Lal as Jackie Shroff did in this Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit starrer.
While discussing why he opted out of Devdas, Govinda told India TV in a past interview, “I asked Sanjay, ‘aapko mere mein Chunni Lal kaha dikhta hai?’ I was a superstar at that time. Mujhe laga theek hai, aap top ke director ho, achchhi baat hai, par aap mujhe character role kyu de rahe hai. Maine kaha ek kaam karna, Shah Rukh se kaho ki woh mujhe kahe. I can do the film for friendship but I won’t do it otherwise.I won’t do the film because you are a star or a top director. I love Shah Rukh a lot. We haven’t done a film together but he is a very nice person.”
While Devdas became one of the biggest hits of the year, it didn’t make much difference to the actor. This was because he had four releases that year – Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai, Akhiyon Se Goli Maare, Waah! Tera Kya Kehna and Chalo Ishq Ladaaye.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
This Hollywood film went on to create waves across the world. While the film saw Anil Kapoor leaving an impression in the West again, not many know the role passed Govinda before it went his way. Even though it’s said that this role was only offered to Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor, reports claim Chi Chi was also being considered for it.
As reported by Mashable, Govinda said no to the role as he had a problem with the poop scene and was uncomfortable with the word ‘Slumdog’ in the title.
After watching James Cameron’s Titanic, we doubt anyone ever said no to a part in a film he was making. Well, that’s besides Govinda. As per reports and the actor’s own admission, he was offered a part in this extraterrestrial adventure, but he said no to it.
During an appearance on India Tv’s Aap Ki Adalat in 2019, Govinda opened up about the reason behind saying no to this James Cameron masterpiece. He said, “He (James) wanted me to shoot for 410 days. For someone like me, to get painted all over the body was something I could not do. So, I apologised.” That’s not it. The actor added that it was he who suggested the title Avatar to Cameron.
Besides being one of the most costly films ever produced, James Cameron’s Avatar is currently the second highest-grossing film of all time. Currently, Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are in the making, with their releases scheduled for December 16, 2022, and December 20, 2024, respectively.
Would you have loved to see Govinda in any of these roles he said no to? Let us know in the comments below.