Aamir Khan’s Dangal is one of Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters. But did you know that the film was penned keeping Irrfan Khan in mind? That’s right! Nitesh Tiwari’s biopic on Mahavir Phogat did not just get cash registers ringing in India and China, the film also launched the careers of Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra and Zaira Wasim. Aamir proved he’s indeed Mr Perfectionist as he underwent another mind-boggling transformation for this part. From direction to acting, story-telling, songs – everything about this movie was almost perfect. However, this was not a role meant for AK in the first place.
What was interesting is that after the writing was complete, the makers decided to bring Aamir on board instead of Irrfan. It seems, however, that when the Dangal team approached Aamir Khan for the role, he like most Bollywood heroes, asked them to come back to him after 10 years. That was Khan’s way of telling them that he was not willing to age on screen yet, leave alone play a father to grown girls. Siddharth Roy Kapur in an interview said, “In the first meeting, he (Aamir Khan) told us, he’ll do it in ten years. ‘Yeah, come back in ten years.’ And we said yes.”
That isn't the only trivia attached to Dangal. The makers of this Mahavir Singh Phogat biopic auditioned almost 3000 girls for the roles of Phogat sisters, Geeta and Babita. Eventually, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra bagged the parts. And yes, Zaira Wasim, who was already working with Aamir in Secret Superstar had to shoot for Dangal simultaneously. The young actress had to go almost bald for her part and Zaira shot for many scenes in Advait Chandan’s film wearing a wig.
Zaira revealed how she cried for days after getting the buzz cut. Not just Aamir, even Zaira was put on a strict diet for six months during which she wasn’t allowed any junk food. In fact, Aamir Khan did not want Secret Superstar to release before Dangal as he felt that the movie was dated and he wanted Zaira to be launched with Dangal. Both movies were well received by critics and audience and performed well at the box office too. Like Dangal, Secret Superstar too was a massive hit in China.
And yes, this last tit-bit about the film involves Thalaiva Rajinikanth. We all know that Aamir Khan turned down Rajinikanth’s film 2.0 that released last year. But apparently, the southern superstar was the first to reject an Aamir Khan movie. Rajinikanth was personally requested by Aamir to dub for the Tamil version of Dangal. We hear that Rajini very politely told the Bollywood star that he could not. The rest as we all know is history - Dangal became a super-hit film, which got cash registers clinking and became one of the best movies in the filmography of everybody involved.