Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Ajay Devgn in Devdas
Sanjay Leela Bhansali On Choosing SRK Over Ajay Devgn in Devdas. ( Photo Credit – Instagram/IMDB )

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas is one of his most celebrated and loved films. The romantic drama stars Shah Rukh Khan as Devdas Mukherjee, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Paro, Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi, Jackie Schroff as Chunnilal and Kirron Kher as Sumitra (Paro’s mother). From casting to acting to music to the narrative to cinematography, everything about SLB’s 2002 is exemplary.

Shah Rukh Khan gave one of his best performances as Devdas, a man who wrecked his life with alcohol despite having two beautiful women immensely loving him. No one can imagine anyone else playing the character with such an impact except the superstar in Bhansali’s film.

Did you know SLB was once asked why he didn’t cast Ajay Devgn as the lead of his 2002 directorial? The director was asked how Ajay’s character Vanraj in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam had similar pain and suffering, so why wasn’t he cast as the lead? Read on.

Why Was Ajay Devgn Not Cast In Devdas?

In an interview with IANS in the past, Sanjay Leela Bhansali shared, “Ajay’s character was my starting point to make Devdas. I slowly moved towards this film from there. But having gone through the process with Ajay, there was no challenge or excitement in casting him again in a similar role. It would have been a process of continuation instead of creation. With Shah Rukh, it was a completely new experience. I wanted my Devdas to be a simple, volatile, boy-man, who is angry and mean and yet has a sad streak that shimmers in his eyes.”

The director also had doubts before working with Shah Rukh Khan. However, the superstar’s flawless performance left Bhansali speechless. Sanjay said in the same interview that Khan could convey shades of anger and self-destruction required for Devdas. He also stated that he has to make the film again; he will cast only SRK in the titular role.

For the film, SLB won the National Film Award in the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment category. Shah Rukh Khan won a Filmfare Award, Sansui Viewers’ Choice Movie Awards, Screen Awards and Zee Cine Awards in the Best Actor category for his performance.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next will be a Netflix series titled Heeramandi. The director has reunited with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt for a film titled Love & War. It also stars Vicky Kaushal. Shah Rukh will be next seen in YRF’s Tiger V Pathaan and Pathaan 2.

Stay Tuned to Koimoi for more updates!

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