Portraying the role of the ‘Iron Lady of India’, Indira Gandhi is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not easy to carry the personality and aura of our country’s first and the only woman Prime Minister. But still, we have few actresses who took us by surprise by beautifully donning the role of Mrs Gandhi. These include Lara Dutta in the 2021 ‘Bell Bottom’ whose prosthetic makeup came the closest to resembling Indira Gandhi and, Supriya Vinod in the political drama ‘Indu Sarkar’ (2017) who too amazed fans with her brilliant performance.
Well, Dutta and Vinod are the ones who not just grabbed the role of ‘Indira Gandhi’ but also played it for the audience. But do you know the name of those actresses who were selected to play the role of Mrs Gandhi, but never did.
In 2003, there was a lot of buzz about Manisha Koirala, the Nepalese beauty essaying the role of Indira Gandhi in a film titled ‘India Gandhi: A Tryst with Destiny’. The project was launched on the 85th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi and was to be produced by Nitin Keni and directed by N. Chandra. It was not only going to concentrate on the political career of Indira but also on her personal life. Koirala was very excited about this project but unfortunately it never took off.
Yes, no less than an actor of Madhuri Dixit’s stature was approached for portraying Indira Gandhi. The late filmmaker Krishan Shah approached Dixit to play the late Prime Minister. As per reports, he had done research on the subject for over 20 years and after piecing together a script from published and unpublished material, scores of interviews with politicians, journalists, bureaucrats, writers and Indira’s contemporaries, he announced his film. The shooting was to begin in 2010 but the project was shelved.
The ‘Kahaani’ actress is the latest in the line of actresses whose soaring ambition to play Mrs Indira Gandhi got quashed. Balan was to play Indira in a web series to be produced by her husband, Siddharth Roy Kapur but three years after the announcement, the project was called off. We certainly hope its revived and we get to admire Balan in another stellar role in the near future.
Though these actresses missed playing the role, the upcoming months promise to be exciting. Kangna Ranaut and Fatima Sana Shaikh are now preparing to essay the role of Indira Gandhi in their upcoming ventures. While Ranaut will be seen as ‘Indira’ in her proposed project on the Emergency, Sheikh is preparing hard for her upcoming film ‘Sam Bahadur’ co-starring Vicky Kaushal as Manekshaw.