Sanjay Leela Bhansali Admits He Wanted To Cast Pakistani Actors Mahira Khan & Fawad Khan In Heeramandi (VIDEO)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali Admits He Wanted To Cast Pakistani Actors Mahira Khan & Fawad Khan In Heeramandi (VIDEO)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali said he also wanted to cast Rekha, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji

Sachin TUpdated: Wednesday, May 01, 2024, 11:29 AM IST
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Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is gearing up for the release of Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, recently attended the screening of the much-awaited web series in Los Angeles. At the event, the director revealed that Pakistani actors Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan were considered to play pivotal roles in the multi-starrer show. He also stated that Heeramandi was supposed to be a film and the idea to make it had been in his mind for the last 18 years.

While interacting with popular YouTuber and host Lily Singh, Bhansali said the current cast was not his first choice.

He said, "I had multiple castings in my mind, the idea has been there for 18 years. I thought about Rekha ji and then Kareena Kapoor Khan and Rani Mukerji. It was a film back then. I then also thought about Mahira Khan, the Pakistani actress, and Imran Abbas and Fawad Khan were also in my mind at one point of time. But I ended up with this ensemble cast."

Check out the video here:

When Heeramandi announcement stirred a debate in Pakistan

The show created quite a buzz ever since it was announced, especially because of its stellar star cast. Heeramandi was officially announced by the makers in 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, back then, Bhansali and his project stirred a debate in Pakistan and several celebs there had stated that such stories should be narrated by Pakistani filmmakers.

Soon after the web series was announced, Pakistani artistes raised questions over the lack of realisation in the Pakistani film industry that such stories should be narrated by the country's own filmmakers.

Bhansali is all set to mark his web series debut with Heermamdi, which will show a world where courtesans were once queens. The trailer promises a visual odyssey and a tale of power, love and freedom set against the backdrop of pre-independent India. The series will also reveal the untold stories of Lahore's red light district, Heera Mandi.

Heeramandi stars Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal, Fardeen Khan, Shekhar Suman, Adhyayan Suman and others. It is all set to stream on Netflix from May 1.

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