Farah Khan’s directorial debut ‘Main Hoon Na’ (2004) celebrated its nineteenth anniversary yesterday. The multi-starrer featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, Suniel Shetty, Zayed Khan and Amrita Rao attained cult following and was equally loved by every section of the audiences. From casting to filming, Farah faced several challenges, but her hard work is what made the film a box office success. Today, we will talk about an exciting behind-the-scene trivia from the movie.
We all know that Suniel Shetty played the villain Raghavan in the film for which he received a lot of appreciation. However, not many are aware that he was not the first choice for the role. Before Suniel, this role was offered to a number of well-known actors, one of which was Kamal Haasan. In an interview given by Farah Khan, she said that it was Shah Rukh who confidently suggested Kamal’s name to her. But when she approached the legendary actor with the offer, the veteran actor declined.
Shah Rukh Khan informed Farah that Kamal owes him a film because he did the same for the actor by appearing in his directorial ‘Hey Ram’ (2000). As a result, Shah Rukh felt confident that Haasan would not refuse the negative role in the film. However, when Farah travelled to Chennai to approach the renowned actor, he turned down the offer by responding, “Unless it was something like my own film ‘Abhay’ (2001) where I essayed both the protagonist and antagonist, playing an anti-national just didn’t fit into my scheme of things. Shah Rukh Saab played a true-blue patriot, a brave Pathaan willing to lay down his life for our country in my film ‘Hey Ram’, whereas I am being offered just the opposite.”
Farah revealed this incident in a podcast with Rajeev Masand. She also added that later, she offered the role to Nana Patekar, but he had a condition that they should show the antagonist’s backstory. Ultimately, Suniel Shetty was chosen for the coveted part.