JP Dutta’s Umrao Jaan which was based on the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada was one the best classics ever made out there. But did you know that Dutta’s first choice to play the lead role of Amiran was Priyanka Chopra and not Aishwarya Rai?
The director’s 2006 musical drama was not only based on the Urdu novel but it was also a remake of the original movie which was released in 1981 in which Rekha played the lead role.
Coming back to the topic, the question that arises is that even though Priyanka Chopra was the first choice for the role then why did it not work out? When asked this question to the movie’s director JP Dutta, he replied “Her clogged dates diary,” to PTI in 2005.
JP Dutta also went on to reveal that despite trying at working on Priyanka Chopra’s calendar, the problem of the dates couldn’t get fixed. “I had reached a stage where I had to take a decision. I wanted to work with Priyanka. I saw her as ‘Umrao Jaan’. But we were at a dead end.”
The director further went on to say that the actress was very interested in working on the film, he said, “Which actress wouldn’t be? At that stage, she had no clue about my talks with Priyanka. When she showed an interest I saw Ash as another ideal choice for Umrao Jaan’s role. She has the grace. I can see her as Umrao because Ash is also a proficient dancer.”
During the same time, the ‘Quantico’ star had also opened up on losing the dream role, Priyanka said, “I had great plans about how to play the role. JP saab wanted 90 days of my dates at a stretch which I couldn’t give him. If it didn’t work out, then I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I can’t brood over what didn’t happen when there’s so much that’s happening.”
Well, that’s how Priyanka Chopra got dropped off from JP Dutta’s Umrao Jaan and Aishwarya Rai came onboard!