Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar was keen on playing former Indian cricket caption Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his biopic, titled MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. But the actor was turned down by his frequent collaborator and filmmaker Neeraj Pandey, who had decided to cast Sushant Singh Rajput as the lead in the biographical sports drama.
In an interview, as per a 2017 Times of India report, Akshay revealed that he had asked Neeraj to consider him for the role of MS Dhoni, but the director refused politely. Akshay further said that Neeraj told him that he didn’t look that character.
Later, Neeraj Pandey, the director of the movie M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story, had explained as to why he didn't cast his favourite star Akshay.
"It was not possible for Akshay to play a 16-17 year old teenager in the movie as Dhoni’s younger version. So I din’t cast him as MS Dhoni," Neeraj had quoted as saying by IANS via a leading daily.
He had highly praised Sushant, saying that “he's a very good actor and reads the script very sincerely. He also picked the body language right."
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story had emerged a big hit at the box office, going on to collect over Rs 133 crore in its lifetime. Sushant’s performance had received much love and appreciation from several quarters.
Sushant passed away in Mumbai on June 14. The actor died by suicide, Mumbai police confirmed.