Who was the first choice to play Gabbar Singh in Sholay?

Who was the first choice to play Gabbar Singh in Sholay?

Who was the first choice to play Gabbar Singh in Sholay?

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Sholay wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for the iconic line “kitnay aadmi thay,” spoken by one of the biggest villains to have emerged back in the day, Gabbar Singh, Jay, Veeru and Basanti became household names when Sholay was released. 46 years later, the movie remains a fan-favorite, making Gabbar Singh famed Amjad Khan one of the greatest villains in the history of Hindi cinema. But did you know that Amjad Khan wasn’t director Ramesh Sippy’s first choice when he was casting for the film?

The director had originally envisioned Danny Denzongpa as Gabbar Singh. When offered the role of Gabbar Singh, Denzongpa had to decline owing to date issues and prior commitment to Feroz Khan’s Dharmatma. It was only then when the writers of the film, Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan, bought Amjad Khan to Ramesh Sippy’s attention. Having seen Amjad Khan perform at the theater, the director was soon convinced that no one can play Gabbar Singh better than Amjad. “I remember seeing a play of him (Khan), accompanied by my sister, he was very impressive on stage. His face, built, personality, voice, everything felt right. We told him to grow a beard, got him in the costume, took pictures and he just felt right as a rough-and-tough guy,” revealed Ramesh Sippy.

It is said that at some point, Gabbar had caught the attention of both Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar to the extent that they were ready to shed their hero image to play the part. But as fate would have it, the role eventually landed in Amjad Khan’s lap and the rest as they say is history!

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