Free Press Journal

Here’s why Salman turned down BAJIRAO MASTANI 


Salman Khan

Bajirao Mastani’s first look is out. Ranveer  Singh as the brave Maratha warrior – Bajirao, Deepika Padukone as his stunning Mastani and Priyanka Chopra as the elusive yet courageous Kashibai. While we loved the first look, we couldn’t help but have a flashback moment and go back in time to the original cast that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali had in mind.

If things had to go his way then Salman Khan would have played Bajirao, Kareena Kapoor Khan his Mastani and Rani Mukerji as Kashibai. It is known that this has been a project close to SLB’s heart and has taken years of research and conception. In fact, even though he went ahead and made other films in between the period leading up to BM, friends reveal that Sanjay was restless because one of his dream projects remained unfulfilled.

While everyone knows about the original cast, not many know why Sanjay couldn’t make the film with Salman-Kareena and Rani. For this we need to go back to the years following the release of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, his last film with Salman as the leading man. Buzz is that Salman and Sanjay had a fall out after the former broke up with his then girlfriend Aishwarya Rai. Sources reveal that while Salman had agreed to do Bajirao Mastani (they even shot for a poster together), the bad break up and events following it destroyed his relation with Sanjay who was Ash’s very close friend and confidante.

It seems that Salman not only refused to do BM, but also did not talk to Sanjay for several months, and the fall out had become quite public. It was years later when things cooled off and Salman and Aishwarya moved on in their respective lives that things simmered between the actor and the director. A source reveals, “Salman was upset that Sanjay didn’t stick to him and felt like his friend and mentor turned against him. There was a lot of bad blood between them at that point.”

Destiny had its own way of making things happen and Sanjay found his new muse – Ranveer Singh when he cast him in Ram Leela. With the success of that film, he felt confident that Ranveer and Deepika would be the ideal cast for Bajirao Mastani. Knowing the perfectionist he is there were rounds of reading and screen tests before he made the cast official.