Filmmaker BR Chopra had offered the role of main lead in “Baghban” to his favourite actor, Dilip Kumar, who turned it down as he could not decide on his co-actress, according to Achala Nagar, the author of the novel.
The film was eventually made in 2003 with megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the lead, almost twenty years after it was offered to the 94-year-old legend.
“When BR Chopra approached Kumar for the role, he had said that neither Nargis, nor Meena Kumari was alive… Even Raakhee had stopped working in films. He rejected the role because he believed that no contemporary actress was suitable to play the role opposite him,” Achala said.
The author said that Kumar was unsure about the choice of his female co-star. He could not think of anyone who would be able to measure up to him, both in terms of seniority and name. So, the film could not go on floors then, Achala added.
Twenty years later, B R Chopra passed on the script to his son, director Ravi.
Bachchan and Hema Malini got on board the film and played the lead roles in Ravi Chopra-directed “Baghban”.