It’s true that Bollywood Actors vie for roles in Hollywood so that they can have a global image. And while some names like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Irrfan Khan and Anil Kapoor have bagged meaty projects in Hollywood, a lot of others even settled for cameos and blink-and-miss roles to further their career in cinema.
But that’s only one side of the story. Because there have been many instances where our beloved Bollywood Actors have been the first choice for some great Hollywood projects.
Don’t believe us?
Brace yourselves; because we are about to tell you about 10 Bollywood actors who were not only offered roles in Hollywood but also went as far as to reject them:
- Shah Rukh Khan: Slumdog Millionaire
The King of Bollywood had the chance to make an international debut with Danny Boyle’s Indian saga Slumdog Millionaire. According to reports, SRK was offered Anil Kapoor’s character in the movie. However, the Indian superstar thought the role was not ‘good enough’ for him and turned it down. The role eventually went to Anil Kapoor and became his ticket to Hollywood. Any regrets Shah Rukh?
- Deepika Padukone – Furious 7
While Deepika finally did make it into Hollywood, with xXx: Return of the Xander Cage, her debut could have been much sooner. She turned down the seventh instalment, of the Fast & Furious series, and chose to do Happy New Year instead. Why reject Hollywood for that, do you ask? Well, it was, in fact, a very loyal and professional gesture to her mentor, since Deepika was already shooting Happy New Year, when she was asked to do Furious 7.
- Akshay Kumar – Untitled movie co-starring Dwayne Johnson
Akshay Kumar is the biggest action star of India and his daredevil stunts are in the league of Hollywood’s toughest men like Jackie Chan, Jean Claude Van Damme and Jason Statham. No wonder when a big Hollywood studio had to cast an Asian face with action star Dwayne Johnson, Akshay Kumar was a natural choice. And we think the two would’ve killed it on-screen. However, maintaining his stand of staying clear of Hollywood movies, Akshay turned down the coveted opportunity and stuck to entertaining Indian audiences. Akshay had once said in an interview, “I am happy and satisfied with the Bollywood offers. Here, I have a huge fan group to entertain and I am not going to fit into Hollywood so I keep refusing to do projects there.”
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Troy
Arguably the most well-known Indian face in Hollywood, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was offered a role opposite none-other-than Hollywood’s biggest heartthrob, Brad Pitt. Well, that’s actually the reason she rejected it. The idea of cozying up to Brad, and romancing him, didn’t go down with Aishwarya. So she rejected the role of Briseis, in Troy. And just so you know, it was nominated for the Oscars!
- Ronit Roy – Zero Dark Thirty
Ronit Roy is one of the finest actors in India and it was just a matter of time before his intense acting performances caught Hollywood’s eyes. However, even Ronit wouldn’t have imagined being offered a role in the Oscar award winning movie Zero Dark Thirty. But being a thorough professional that he is, Ronit gave priority to work (Student Of The Year) closer home which had already started and let the opportunity pass with a heavy heart.
- Priyanka Chopra – Immortals
Priyanka Chopra might have become the latest Indian toast in the West after her singing and TV career took off brilliantly with Quantico, but not many know that the talented actress had a bigger opportunity early on in life. Just like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra was offered an important role in the Hollywood hit ‘Immortals’ which she couldn’t pursue because of her prior commitment to ‘7 Khoon Maaf.’ Priyanka’s loss became Frieda Pinto’s gain as the Slumdog fame went on to strengthen her footing in Hollywood with the movie.
- Hrithik Roshan – The Pink Panther 2
The Greek God of Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan, has always resisted the temptation of working in Hollywood despite his global looks, killer physique and breath-taking dance moves. Fast and Furious director, Rob Cohen is apparently a big fan of Hrithik and wanted him to make a Hollywood debut. But Hrithik’s father, Rakesh Roshan did not want his son signing any International projects at the time.He even had to turn down the role of Vicente, in Pink Panther 2. Well major loss for you, Hollywood because we get to keep him all for ourselves.
- Irrfan Khan – Interstellar
It takes nerves of steel and the professionalism of Irrfan Khan to reject a Christopher Nolan movie! A revered name in both the industries, Irrfan Khan had to take the most difficult decision of his life when he was offered Matt Damon’s part in Interstellar which required him to camp in the US for four months. However, Irrfan wanted to shuttle to India in between to complete the filming of ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘D-Day’. When Nolan didn’t allow Irrfan to move base for 4 months, Irrfan ultimately decided to let go of the film.
- Madhuri Dixit – Untitled Hollywood Movie
Buzz was rife some time ago that an upcoming Hollywood film may have the name of Madhuri Dixit Nene in its star cast. The role required Madhuri to play herself in a cameo which was supposed to be a dream sequence in the movie which traced the journey of an American girl who aspires to become a Bollywood actress. Despite being offered a huge pay packet, Madhuri did not consider the offer owing to the length of her role.
- Dilip Kumar – Lawrence of Arabia
Just to give you an idea of the great Hollywood obsession with Indian actors, here’s thespian actor Dilip Kumar at the tenth spot for rejecting a lead role in the international project Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by director David Lean. However, the reasons for Dilip Kumar not pursuing the offer are not known, the role eventually went to Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.
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