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Last Updated 12.04.2024 | 10:13 PM IST
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EXCLUSIVE: Ameesha Patel reveals, “I was selected for Lagaan but was replaced later, I was disappointed because…”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Ameesha Patel reveals, “I was selected for Lagaan but was replaced later, I was disappointed because…”

Ameesha Patel says that she was very keen to work with Aamir Khan

Anil Sharma’s Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India released on the same day and both achieved history at the box office and a special place among the audience’s hearts. But not many know that Ameesha Patel, the leading lady of Gadar, would have had two historic hits on the same day because she tells us that initially she was also selected for Lagaan as the female lead. The role eventually went to Gracy Singh.

EXCLUSIVE: Ameesha Patel reveals, “I was selected for Lagaan but was replaced later, I was disappointed because…”

When asked if she was considered for Lagaan, Ameesha told Bollywood Hungama exclusively, “I was not considered for Lagaan, I was selected. Bhanu Athaiya ji had made the costumes and everything. At Aamir’s house, we had rehearsed actual scenes from the film together. I was the one for the film. I had also allotted the dates. My secretary Jatin ji was handling my work.”

But things just changed for Ameesha Patel as far as Lagaan was concerned when she was abroad. “I was in New Zealand shooting for Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai where I got Jatin ji’s call and he said that he has divided all the dates for Lagaan for Badri (her Telugu movie) and Gadar. I asked what happened to Lagaan. He said that the director doesn’t think you look like a village belle. He felt my eyes look like the one of an educated girl, and I look too polished and sophisticated. They wanted a dusky skinned girl. I suggested it can be done with tanned make-up, but they didn’t want to do that,” told the actress.

Interestingly, Ameesha’s looks, eyes and mannerisms worked for her the role in Gadar. “The reasons why I was rejected for Lagaan were exactly the reasons why Nitin Keni for Zee selected me for Gadar,” she said. “He told me that acting can be taught through numerous retakes, but you can’t teach someone to be sophisticated and educated, it has to be in your body language and thinking. And Sakeena (her character in Gadar) is from a rich background. She is Ashraf Ali’s (Amrish Puri) daughter who has studied in a British school. And I also had a foreign education like Sakeena in real life.”

When asked if she was disappointed to have lost out on Lagaan, Ameesha said, “I didn’t know that Lagaan would become such a success. I was disappointed because I loved the subject and more importantly, I was very keen to work with Aamir. I have grown up watching Aamir Khan’s films. I was wanting to be working in a totally rustic film. I had never done something like this; in villages with Bhanu Athaiya.”

As luck would have it, Ameesha soon got a chance to work with Aamir on Mangal Pandey: The Rising. She played a widow who is rescued by a British officer from dying through the act of sati. “He (Aamir) made up for it,” said Amesha. “So, I got my wish. That was a super experience. He is one of the finest and the most dedicated actors I have seen. He is also a man of his word. What he promised me at so many levels because I did the film on his request.”

When Aamir had called Ameesha for the role in Mangal Pandey, she was shooting in Chennai with Mahesh Babu. “He said it’s a simple role; it’s non-glamorous and he said we need a person who has the courage to do a no make-up role, like I did in most of my Gadar scenes. This was a step ahead because she was a widow, so she had to be in a white saree. I told him that I love challenges and I want to work with him, and I will do it for him,” she said.

Ameesha was highly impressed with how Aamir looked after her during the shoot. “From making sure that I received my remuneration, and I was comfortable with my scenes and costumes, he took complete care of me,” she said.

Ameesha Patel will next be seen in Gadar 2, which also stars Sunny Deol and Utkarsh Singh and is slated to release on August 11.

Also Read: 22 Years of Lagaan: Abhishek Bachchan on refusing the Ashutosh Gowariker movie, “I was way too raw and young”

More Pages: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Box Office Collection , Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Movie Review


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