Anupam Kher was Mr India’s original Mogambo, not Amrish Puri

Actor revealed that he was Shekhar Kapur’s first choice to play the iconic villain, Mogambo, but was ‘dropped’ later

Entertainment Desk December 07, 2021

Even after three decades of its release, Mr. India stands as Shekhar Kapur’s most popular film of all time with its dramatic experiment of a sci-fi fantasy. The Anil Kapoor and Sridevi starrer, beloved by many to date, caught eyes again as a trivia interview revealed that the movie’s most famous character, Mogambo, played by Amrish Puri was earlier offered to Anupam Kher instead.

As shocking as that may be, and perhaps even surprising, this revelation came from Kher himself during an interview with news agency IANS on the occasion of Puri’s birth anniversary. During a trivia about the 1987 film, he revealed that he was dropped from the role after a few months.

“In Mr. India, Mogambo’s role was offered to me before Amrish Puri. However, after one or two months, the filmmakers replaced me,” shared Kher as quoted by IANS at the time. “When you are dropped from a film then generally an actor feels bad, but when I watched Mr. India and saw Amrishji’s work as Mogambo then, I thought that makers of the film took the right decision by casting him in their film,” retorted the Dilwale Dulhania Lejayeinge star modestly as he revealed this lesser-known fact about the blockbuster movie.

Counting the numerous accolades following the blockbuster’s release, Mr. India did not only receive both critical and commercial acclaim but also earned a whopping profit of 100 million rupees against its 38 million budget making the film the second-highest-grossing feature of the year.

Given the praise and love it received throughout the globe, its continued success bring forth its multiple remakes such as — En Rathathin Rathame (1989) in Tamil and Jai Karnataka in Kannada, which was released subsequently.

The masterpiece was written by Salim Javed, bankrolled by Boney and Surinder Kapoor and directed by the famous filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. Apart from the beloved Mr. India, Shekhar has many well-received projects under his belts such as Masoom, Bandit Queen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and New York, I Love You.

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