Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has carved a niche in the Indian film industry with whom almost every director and producer wants to work. However, SRK has struggled a lot to achieve what he enjoys today. Fans are well aware of his struggles in the initial days. Being an outsider, it was not easy for SRK to secure roles. However, his talent and perseverance eventually paid off. He made his debut in 1992 with Deewana. However, he got recognition for playing anti-hero characters in movies like Baazigar and Darr. He took the 'insane risks' that proved him as a versatile actor.

Of course, Shah Rukh's career was shaped by bagging several movies rejected by top actors of the era. Baazigar is one such film that was rejected by many popular actors of the time. The movie proved to be a breakthrough for SRK and it was his first movie as an anti-hero. 

But, fans are least aware that even Kajol and Shilpa Shetty were not the first choice for the roles of Priya and Seema.

Anil Kapoor first choice for Baazigar

Helmed by director duo Abbas-Mustan, Baazigar is a romantic-thriller movie. Several lead actors of the time had rejected the offer to play the anti-hero. But, Anil Kapoor was the first to reject the offer.

Anil Kapoor was the first choice of the director-duo for Baazigar. By then, Kapoor had established himself in the industry. When the director-duo approached Kapoor with Baazigar, he rejected saying it wasn't his cup of tea. 

In an old interview with Komal Nahta, Abbas-Mustan recalled, "When we were ready with the story of Baazigar, we first went to Anil Kapoor. He was shooting for Roop Ki Rani Choro Ki Raja and he said this subject is too risky. He said it’s good but I won’t do it. He refused politely.”

The director-duo also revealed that the movie's producer also approached Salman Khan, but his father Salim Khan turned down the offer saying, "It’s too early for Salman to take this up."

Eventually, the role landed to Shah Rukh, who was quite excited to work with the director-duo.

Not Kajol and Shilpa, directors were told to cast Sridevi in a double role!

It was quite challenging for the director-duo to lock the male lead for Baazigar. Not just Shah Rukh, even Kajol and Shilpa Shetty were not the first choice for the female leads. 

While Kajol already had achieved stardom by then, Shilpa made her debut with Baazigar. However, before locking Kajol and Shilpa, one of the executives at Venus Films recommended the director-duo to cast Sridevi in a double role. The executive producers believed that when Seema dies, Priya will still be alive trying to solve her sister's death mystery and the audience will have more of Sridevi.

However, the idea to cast Sridevi didn't sound good to the director-duo. 

"We said that Shah Rukh is also in a sort of double role. Although it is one character, but he is playing it like two guys. If the sisters are also in a double role, it will be too confusing for the audience,” they shared.

Turning down the suggestion gently, the director-duo came up with another reason.

Abbas-Mustan said, "We felt that if we take Sridevi or Juhi Chawla in Seema’s role, the audience’s sympathy, especially the fans of the actress will be wholly invested in that. They won’t be interested in the film anymore. And they will also be let down that our favourite actress is dead. So we decided to cast a new actress. We thought that when she died, people would be shocked. And then people will be like now we are curious to know what happens next.”

Well, this is how Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Shilpa Shetty were roped in for Baazigar.

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