Vishal Bhardwaj said that Aamir Khan was excited to play Langda Tyagi in Omkara, and revealed why he cast Saif Ali Khan instead.
Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj said that Aamir Khan was interested in playing Langda Tyagi in the 2006 film Omkara, and he made his feelings known while they were working together on a separate project that didn’t materialise. He also revealed that Saif Ali Khan was chosen to play the role because he was willing to put in the hard work, but was reluctant to cut his hair.
Talking about casting Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi in Omkara, the filmmaker said in an interview with mid-day, “For Saif, I think, Aamir is responsible for that.” When asked how, he responded by saying, “We were doing that film together, so I spent a lot of time with Aamir. He is lovely company, and it’s fun to hang around with him. Aamir would share what he had in his mind and ask me what I had in my mind to plan for the future. So, I told him that I have this Othello, and this Langda Tyagi character with me.”
Vishal shared that the Dangal star was fascinated by Langda Tyagi’s character. “He told me, ‘Whenever you make this film, I’d love to be considered for Langda Tyagi.’ So that remained with me, but the film didn’t happen, I wasn’t working for one and a half years. I wanted to make a film desperately, so I thought if this character can excite Aamir so much, then I can excite some another star with this. At the time, I had seen Saif’s work.”
Asked why Omkara didn’t happen with Aamir, Vishal revealed, “He was busy, he did Rang De Basanti, and I didn’t want to get stuck for another one and a half years. I wanted to (make the film), with whoever I get.”
When I saw Saif in Dil Chahta Hai, what Saif was before that, his voice was a little feminine, his performance would be ajeeb (weird). But in Dil Chahta Hai, he really worked on himself. In Dil Chahta Hai, he was a different Saif. I felt that he had a fire in him and had transformed himself. And he had shot up,” he added.
Vishal shared that when he pitched the film to Saif, he asked the actor, “Are you ready to work hard? Because nobody would be able to imagine that you can do that role. Nobody could imagine.” He continud, “But he was ready to do that. He really (worked hard), except cutting his hair. With great effort, we convinced him to cut his hair because he was not ready to cut it. Other than that he was more than I asked for.”
Omkara also starred Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. It was the second installment in the filmmaker’s Shakespeare trilogy, which also includes Maqbool and Haidar.