December 28, 2011 01:05:16 PM IST Joginder Tuteja, Glamsham Editorial
Contrary to popular misconception, it was neither Hrithik Roshan nor Sanjay Dutt who was the most difficult to be cast in AGNEEPATH. Instead, it was Rishi Kapoor who kept Karan Johar waiting for over 100 days before consenting to do the film where he would be seen in an out and out negative role.
"Rishiji plays 'Rauf Lala' in the film and those who have seen Amitabh Bachchan's version of AGNEEPATH would remember that there was no such character in the original. When director Karan Malhotra approached Rishiji with this character, he was simply shocked. Though he has played a villain in KAL KISSNE DEKHA and BOL RADHA BOL, it still wasn't as menacing as AGNEEPATH. He flatly refused because he was unsure if he would be able to do justice to the film," says a close associate of Karan.
Though he was sure about his capabilities, he wondered whether audience would be willing to accept him as a villain.
"Karan Malhotra was insistent though that he had to step into this role. However whenever he used to talk to Rishiji about this, he used to tick him off stating that his inclusion may end up harming the film, more so since audience would be fine with Hrithik and Dutt enacting Vijay Deenanath Chauhan and Kaancha Cheena but not Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala. It was only after the young director continued with his attempts at convincing him for months at stretch that he finally said 'yes' to playing the character," he continues. CHECK OUT: Is Katrina Kaif's Chikni Chameli hottest item song?
As expected from the veteran actor, when he took on the role, he came up with a convincing act that ended up shocking both the Karans.
Says Karan Malhotra, the director of the film, "He is every bit the Rauf Lala that I had written. He was the most difficult to be cast in the film but his performance speaks for himself. Trust me; it is going to shock a lot of people, especially those who are familiar with his extensive body of work."