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Were Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Initially Considered as First Choices for ‘Bajirao Mastani’?

Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Were Initially Considered as First Choices for ‘Bajirao Mastani’

Did you know that Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was originally intended to play the lead role in the film ‘Bajirao Mastani’? There was even a photoshoot conducted years ago featuring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, where Khan had chopped his hair for the distinctive look of Peshwa Bajirao.

It is widely known that ‘Bajirao Mastani’, a grand opus directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, was one of the most highly anticipated films in Bollywood. Before it was eventually made with Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, the film was offered to several A-list actors in the industry.

According to Indian media reports, the initial plan was to cast Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles, with Rani Mukerji playing Kashibai. Bhansali aimed to recreate the electrifying chemistry of the beloved duo from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’. However, following the highly publicized breakup of Salman and Aishwarya, Kareena Kapoor replaced Rai at the behest of Khan. The ‘Bodyguard’ pair even went through a screen test for the film, and Khan had gone as far as chopping his hair to achieve the signature Peshwa Bajirao look.

Unfortunately, the pairing did not work out for Bhansali, leading to his decision to not cast them in his passion project. This incident resulted in a fallout between Bhansali and Khan, and they never collaborated again thereafter. Interestingly, the poster featuring Khan and Kapoor as Bajirao and Mastani still hangs in the filmmaker’s office, serving as a reminder of the original casting idea.

After multiple delays caused by casting changes, Bhansali’s passion project was eventually finalized with real-life couple Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh as the leads, while Priyanka Chopra portrayed Kashibai.

When ‘Bajirao Mastani’, the cinematic masterpiece depicting the story of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao and his second wife Mastani, was released in December 2015, it became a massive box office success and garnered numerous accolades, including seven National Film Awards.

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