Shahid Kapoor’s performance in Udta Punjab is one of the best performances he has given in his acting career. But do you know that screenwriter Sudip Sharma’s first choice to play the character of ‘Tommy’ wasn’t choice but Sound Of Metal actor Riz Ahmed? Read to know the scoop below.
Sounds unbelievable, right? But that’s the truth. Back in 2016, Ahmed wasn’t this popular and his performance in Nightcrawler is what Sharma loved the most and thought he would be a perfect fit to play Tommy’s role in the film.
In a conversation with Film Companion, Sudip Sharma revealed that the Pakistani-Brit actor was his first choice to play the character of ‘Tommy’ in Udta Punjab and said, “We also dabbled with the idea of Riz Ahmed at one point of time. We never thought of a Bollywood actor for that role (Tommy Singh). We thought, why don’t we go for a British-South Asian character? Because we really wanted that whole London thing in it. And Riz is a great actor.”
Sharma continued and added, “And I remember walking out of Nightcrawler – he had a small-ish part in that film. He wasn’t that big a star, so we weren’t being that unrealistic and foolish about it. I remember calling Abhishek and saying, ‘Yaar, aap please picture dekho, he’s outstanding and he can really fit Tommy’s part.’ Wishes can be horses when you’re casting.”
Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, Udta Punjab starred Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh and Shahid in pivotal roles. The film did well at the box office and recently completed five years of its release.
What are your thoughts on Riz Ahmed playing the role of ‘Tommy’ in Udta Punjab? Do y’all think he could have performed better than Shahid Kapoor? Tell us in the comments below.