Free Press Journal

Padmavati to Naam Shabana: 6 films that changed scripts to accommodate actors


Shubarna Mukerji Shu lists 6 films this year that have changed their scripts to accommodate their actors

Sometimes coercion, sometimes goodwill, most of the time to increase ticket sales. Filmmakers have known to randomly increase a character’s cameo into a full-fledged role in their movies, simply to cater to a whim rather than the script. We are aligning a few such incidents where one sole character has muscled past the script-writer’s story.


The whole political furore surrounding the tale of the Rani Padmavati was not the first hiccup on the road to making this magnum opus. When Sanjay Leela Bhansali first went over to Shahid Kapoor, to cast him for the role of Raja Rawal Ratan Singh – King of Chittor – Bhansali faced his first obstacle. Apparently, Kapoor refused to do his film because he was not convinced the director would give him the same support he would be offering his favourite Ranveer Singh. Given Ranveer and Bhansali go a long way, insiders say that Kapoor’s hesitance and subsequent demand was not selfish but prudent. Shahid’s stand got him not only the equal amount of screen time as Singh, but had Bhansali’s writers, rework portions of the film to bring forth a few monologues that will accentuate the valor of the King of Chittor in comparison to Sultan Alauddin Khilji (Singh). Smart move, given had Shahid too refused the role – Padmavati would have been shelved.

Golmaal Again

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Everyone was shocked to see Tabu be a part of the cast for Rohit Shetty’s mad-franchise – ‘Golmaal’. However, not many know that the actress had in fact refused to the film. When Shetty first approached her for the film, Tabu was not at all convinced about her role. She was to play a loony medium and be seen only in a couple of scenes. While Tabu wanted in on the whole commercial arena, she wasn’t about to sell her soul to the franchise. On Ajay Devgn’s insistence, Tabu gave ‘Golmaal’ a second chance. Of course, with Shetty putting in so much work into her character – Tabu could not refuse signing the dotted line, any more.


Everyone knows that film looked half-baked. There were things in the film which didn’t add up, the character graph for many just went wherever it fancied going. While that worked adversely for the film and Milind Luthria, Ileana D’cruz has had no reason to crib.  To begin with, it is said that due to Ileana’s chemistry with Ajay Devgn, their story was buffed and beefed to an extent that Esha Gupta’s character had to be put on the back-burner. The director in fact, went onto shoot more than he even kept in the film, resultant the extra-hot romance sequence between the Queen and her henchman was radically slashed only to be reshot later in a rather conservative form. Phew! It is hardly a surprise that the film seemed confusing, it was only relating the sentiments of the director who was trying to keep his cast happy.

All said, Ileana for sure is happy, because she had landed one more film with Devgn – RAID.


This was perhaps the most blotched characterization and extended cameo ever. So, director Kabir Khan was looking to cast Akshay Kumar as Salman Khan’s brother in the film, waiting and hoping that just a glimpse of the two actors together would be enough to create the buzz this offbeat film needed. However, Salman Khan suggested they could do away with Kumar and get Sohail Khan on board instead. Apparently, he was sure that having his brother, Sohail will help him emote more naturally. So much so, that the makers of the film added a song or two for Sohail and even tried adding a slight romantic angle to his character, perhaps because they felt Bhai needed all the help he could get to emote better.

Naam Shabana

Salman Khan is certainly not the first to coerce his directors, Akshay Kumar too has been known to influence the makers off and on. Everyone knows that ‘Naam Shabana’ was to be a prequel to ‘Baby’, the film centred on Taapsee Pannu, and was to have Kumar only for eight minutes in the whole two hour film. Except we saw a lot of Akshay throughout the film. The self-made cop, despite her super action was reduced to an assistant, completely forgetting that she had the titular role. So what it didn’t make sense, it sure helped the ticket sales having Kumar more prominent in the film.

Chanda Mama Door Ke

Ever since the inception of the film, everyone is talking about India’s first space film. However, the excitement went to a whole new level of curiosity when it was reported that Sushant Singh Rajput was sulking. The reports stated that the ‘Raabta’ actor is very upset with director Sanjay Puran Singh for increasing R. Madhavan’s cameo in the film to a supporting role. Before the rumour could get momentum Sushant took to social media and clarified that the rumours had no element of truth.

But that doesn’t answer why was Madhavan’s role improvised? Was it the actors demand or the makers who have yet not been able to get Nawazuddin Siddiqui on-board for the film, decided to add meat to the character of the test pilot that Madhavan plays, to avoid Siddiqui altogether. It doesn’t matter now as the film has been postponed indefinitely.