New Delhi: Subhash Ghai's directorial debut, 'Kaalicharan' which became a cult hit in 1976 was to have Rajesh Khanna in the lead role if producer NN Sippy had his way.
The film which put Shatrughan Sinha in the big league was Ghai's directorial debut and featured the actor in a double role. Rajesh Khanna at that time was the reigning star of Bollywood while Sinha a rank newcomer who was known for playing villain's role.
"Apart from being a close friend, I found Shatrughan apt for the role," revealed Ghai at an event in Delhi while promoting his new film 'Kaanchi'. " It was a double role and the producer was apprehensive in casting a new face. But I felt that more than a star, I needed an actor who would be apt for the character", added the director.
The film went on to cement Shatrughan Sinha's breakthrough performance and catapulted him the big league and also helped Ghai in making a mark in Bollywood.
The director who has launched several new faces in Bollywood over his three decades long career emphasized the need to cast actors according to the script. "Some scripts need new faces and not established stars. For 'Pardes' I was asked to cast Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan. I had already signed Shah Rukh by then, Everyone said, the cost of the film would increase with big stars and it would help in distributing the film at a higher rate but I insisted on having new comers like Mahima and Apurva for the roles," revealed the director.
The director, who is launching new actress Mishti in 'Kaanchi' stated that he auditioned around 300 girls for the role before short listing her. "Some were pretty and talented but still didn't fit the part. Misthi fit the role perfectly and hence I took her in the film," said Ghai.
'Kaanchi' which also features Kartik Tiwari, Rishi Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty and Chandan Roy Sanyal is Ghai's comeback film of sorts. The director last directed a film in 2008- 'Yuvraaj'- which sank without a trace. "I have never made a nbad film. Circumstances may have effected the Box Office collection of the film, but the films have been made with honesty and with a lot passion. The day I loose that passion, I will stop making films altogether."