When Deewaar and Sholay first came to Shatrughan Sinha: ‘I had so many films that I couldn’t do it’

When Deewaar and Sholay first came to Shatrughan Sinha: ‘I had so many films that I couldn’t do it’

Shatrughan Sinha has shared that he was supposed to act in the 1975 films Deewaar and Sholay but had to refuse both since he didn’t have any dates. Both films ended up going to his friend, actor Amitabh Bachchan, and further cemented his status as a star in the Hindi film industry. While the veteran actor revealed he regretted that he couldn’t do those iconic films, he was very happy that it made Amitabh into a national icon. (Also read: Shatrughan Sinha feels people can’t stop trolls on social media: ‘Na rok sakte hai, na tok sakte hai’)

Shatrughan got his acting break with Dev Anand’s Prem Pujari in 1970 but the film Sajan released first in 1969. He has featured in many films such as Gambler, Bombay to Goa, Ghulam Begum Badshah, Blackmail, Jaggu, Kalicharan, Jaani Dushman, and Shaan among many others.

Speaking with Aaj Tak, the veteran actor recalled, “I have had films which I have regretted. Like Deewaar. I regretted that I couldn’t do the film. Deewaar was written for me. They had brought it to me. The script was with me for around six months. But we had some creative differences and I returned the script back. Similarly, with Sholay, I was supposed to do it. The role that my friend Amitabh Bachchan did. They wanted me to do it. Some people wanted to do the role of Gabbar Singh. And my friend, the great filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, couldn’t tell me the dates from start to end when he wanted me. He just told me to come down to Bangalore and we’ll see and make the film together. I had so many films that I couldn’t do it.”

But the actor didn’t want to play any more villains at the time. He was juggling with a lot of films at the time and even had to turn down Manoj Kumar, whom he considered like an elder brother, for a role in his film Shor.

He added, “Like that, Sholay and Deewaar, in a way, I’m definitely sad… it’s like human error. But I’m also happy that because I didn’t do them, because of many reasons, India’s best actor, national icon, Amitabh Bachchan got such a big platform. I’m happy that he became one of the nation’s biggest stars, my friend Amitabh Bachchan.”

Shatrughan graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, Maharashtra. He later came to Mumbai to try to become an actor in the Hindi film industry in the 1960s.

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(With Inputs from hindustantimes)