DYK: Who The Original Casting of Andaaz Was?
Did you know? ‘Andaaz’, the 2003 hit film not the 1971 ‘Andaz’, was not always meant to have the stars you saw in the film. When the film was being planned with Akshay Kumar in the lead, producer Suneel Darshan wanted his favorite Karishma Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee opposite Akshay.
Prakash Jaju introduced Priyanka Chopra to Suneel Dharshan in 2001 but Suneel was not so interested to work with PC then. He had heard that she was being dropped out of projects and was planning to leave Mumbai and go back home due to the constant rejections she was facing. When he met her for the first time, he also thought this about her:
Here’s a picture of PC, Lara and Dia at the pageant:
She looked pretty! We always thought why did she had to do what she did to her face when she actually looked pretty and was a Miss World? Maybe that’s why PC felt the need to do all that since people in the industry thought she was not pretty enough and didn’t deserve the Miss World crown.
As luck would have it, Suneel’s plans of casting Karishma and Rani Mukherjee went for a toss when Karishma asked for a higher remuneration than what the producer had in mind. She was, after all, a star at that time but in those days, producers wouldn’t bulge. It’s not the hero, after all!
Lara was cast first since Suneel remembered her from a photoshoot she did with Akshay for Filmfare. We cannot find that photoshoot anywhere so if you have seen, feel free to share it here. Based on that photoshoot, Suneel found Lara interesting enough to sign her on.
Isha Koppikar was being considered for the other part when Prakash Jaju again came to Suneel and asked him to meet the newly-changed Priyanka. This time, Suneel found PC to be different, her approach and attitude were not childish anymore. She has grown up and matured.
Both Lara and PC were signed on for ‘Andaaz’ and were paid 10 lakh rupees each. Suneel liked PC so much that he signed her on for a second film for 15 lack rupees. Funnily enough, everyone on the team including Akshay thought Lara was the real star among these two.
According to Suneel, Priyanka’s mother is the driving force behind her and also her secretary at that time, Prakash Jaju. She was only 21 years old when they shot ‘Andaaz’ and her friendship with Akshay one of her first working experiences. He was just married and had a baby on the way.
Priyanka went on to star in many films opposite Akshay and soon became his favorite co-star, and the only actress with whom he has had a 100% success rate at the box office since all of their films were declared hits. All was good until his wife put an end to his pairing with PC and made him promise not to work with PC again. You all know this episode so there’s no point of bringing this up again.
Since working with Akshay in her first film, Lara has remained a good friend of his. Akshay made a small appearance in Lara’s first home production ‘Chalo Dilli’ at the end of the film playing her husband. You can also see Akshay recommending Lara’s name for small and supporting roles in his films.
As for Rani, just like the mystery of why Juhi Chawla never worked with Salman Khan, the Rani-Akshay pairing never happened. Rani has refused countless of offers to act opposite Akshay since she made her debut. And now, she produces films (since Mr. India remains invisible) that Akshay stars in!
‘Andaaz’ introduced both a Miss World and Miss Universe. Other than some cringe-worthy scenes and songs, it had this beautifully-shot song:
Doesn’t some of it looks like they are doing a theater play? Especially Akshay!
So, just imagine if Karishma and Rani had signed on? What would ‘Andaaz’ look like? Definitely not like the finished product you saw! But just for fun, let’s go for a vote.
Credit: Snippets were taken from Priyanka Chopra: The Dark Horse