Imran Khan reveals being a budgetary choice for Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola'

Did you know not Imran Khan but Ajay Devgn was the initial choice for 'Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola'? Here's the entire story behind Imran Khan's casting. Read on to know more.

- By "Team India Forums"
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Imran Khan has been sharing quite a few insightful behind-the-scenes stories from his film. Today, he shared a fascinating story from his past that sheds light on his journey in the film industry. Despite his acting hiatus, Imran continues to engage with his fans through social media, sharing cherished memories from his film sets.

In a recent Instagram post, Imran reflected on his role in the 2013 film "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola," directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. He posted a captivating image of himself riding a motorcycle in character. However, what caught the attention of his fans was the revelation that he wasn't the initial choice for the role.

Imran disclosed that Ajay Devgn was originally cast as the lead in "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola." However, Ajay Devgn withdrew from the project before filming commenced. Imran, riding high on the success of films like "Delhi Belly" and "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan," received a call from Vishal Bhardwaj. The director shared his passion project, a story close to his heart, and offered Imran the role.

He wrote, "I was never supposed to be Matru. The film was launched with Ajay Devgn attached as Matru, but he chose to withdraw before filming could commence. I was riding high off the back-to-back successes of Delhi Belly and MBKD, and close to wrapping the shoot of EMAET when I got the call; Vishal Bhardwaj wanted to meet me! I was thrilled. He told me about his passion project, a story he had been carrying close to his heart."

Imran faced a daunting challenge as he had to learn Haryanvi and prepare for the role in less than three months. To meet this challenge, he moved to Delhi and underwent intensive workshops under the guidance of legendary acting coach NK Sharma and his students.

During this transformative period, Imran had an enlightening conversation with NK Sharma, who pointed out the negative voice in Imran's head. Sharma encouraged him to listen to the thousands of voices that expressed their love and support instead. Imran said, "It was a film about greed, the economic exploitation of farmers, and the menace of unregulated development. It struck a chord with me, but I was hesitant; I would have to learn Haryanvi, and be ready to roll in less than three months! How on earth was I to pull this off?"

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To accomplish this, I moved to Delhi and started intensive workshops with the legendary NK Sharma and some of his students. Panditji, as we affectionately called him, was the first person to point out the negative Voice in my head. "You only listen to the voice that tells you you are worthless", he told me, "why do you disrespect the thousands of voices that say they love you?". I listened to his words, but I didn't really hear them.I was anxious and terrified through the shoot of the film. I couldn't shake the feeling that Vishal had never really wanted me for this part, that my casting was based more on the budget that my presence could afford than the director's belief in me. And so it came to be that once we wrapped the shoot, I turned tail and ran, never looking back. I didn't even watch the final cut of the film when it was done. Having a surreal, absurdist tone, the film was pretty well skewered upon release... but what can I say, I'm proud as hell of this movie. It was a bold experiment, a story that absolutely needed to see the light of day, and I consider it my privilege to have been a part of the team that made it happen. PS. I couldn't ride a motorcycle when I signed on, so I had to take lessons. I learned to ride Matru's Bullet in between shots while filming the 'Auntyji' song from EMAET!"

Imran Khan

In conclusion, Imran shared his pride in "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola," acknowledging its surreal, absurdist tone and the bold experiment it represented. He reflected on his growth, including learning to ride a motorcycle during the shoot, and expressed his privilege in contributing to the film's success.

For the unversed, the film was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, featured Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma in leading roles, supported by a talented ensemble cast. The film was released in 2013.

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