Playing Langda Tyagi in Omkara (2006) was a turning point in actor Saif Ali Khan’s career, but director Vishal Bhardwaj says it was Aamir Khan who was keen to star in the role initially.
Bhardwaj says it was Aamir who inspired him to make the movie, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello.
“There was a film we were planning to make, but it got shelved a year later due to some differences. During that time, I used to tell Aamir about this character Langda Tyagi and Othello. He encouraged me to do something on it and said he would play the role.
Aamir told me to come to him after a year when the script is ready, but this time, I did not want to fall into his trap so I went to Saif,” says the filmmaker.
“I thought if Aamir is interested in some character, it might have some potential. And I saw that hunger in Saif’s eyes; he was desperate to shed that lover boy image,” he adds.
Saif went onto win a Filmfare award for his role. Bhardwaj is currently working on the release of his upcoming film, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, starring Pankaj Kapur, Anushka Sharma and Imran Khan.