Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha has sportingly made a special appearance in the upcoming film Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se, starring actors Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol and Dharmendra, whom he calls one of his dearest friends.
However, did you know that the Bollywood veteran was almost cast in Ramesh Sippy's blockbuster, Sholay?
The actor-turned-politician calls Dharmendra "God's personal favourite".
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"He is golden-hearted. Do you know we would have done Sholay together. But God and Ramesh Sippy had other plans," laughs Shatrughan.
With reasons unknown, Sippy eventually cast Amitabh Bachchan in the 1975 hit film. But that didn't tarnish Singh's relationship with the Deols.
"Not just Dharmendra, Hema (Malini) is also a dear friend. Both Hema and Dharmendra have been my friends for years. It is rare for a friendship to survive so long in this industry where loyalties change every Friday," Hindustan Times quoted Shatrughan.
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"All three of us have worked together in Dulal Guha's excellent film Dost which I think was released in 1974. This is one of my favourite films. Also, Vijay Anand's Blackmail, in which Dharmendra and I were cast together. That was a special film. I think my wife Poonam has also worked in a film with Dharmendra."
But Shatrughan says his relations with Dharmendra and Hema go far beyond the professional. "We are there for one another any time we need each other. Doing that small role in Yamla Pagla Deewana was not something I had to think about. It was a yes even before Dharmendra asked."
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