After watching Aamir Khan in Dangal, it is difficult to even imagine any other actor as Mahavir Singh Phogat. Dangal is one of the finest performances in Aamir’s decorated career and he has really pushed the envelope in the method acting by gaining a massive amount of body weight and losing it in a short span of time for the film. Who else in Bollywood’s A-list could have shown that level of commitment? Probably none. But, makers of the blockbuster sports drama seemed to have had more than one option down south.
According to a top UTV Motion Pictures official, the makers would have cast either Kamal Haasan or Mohanlal in the movie had Aamir turned down the film. Divya Rao, the creative producer of UTV Motion Pictures, said that Aamir was the first choice when they decided to make the film on the Phogats. She, however, told a leading English daily that in case Aamir had not agreed to do the film, “…the only other actors who come to mind are Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan.”
Interestingly, Mohanlal was the Kerala state wrestling champion in 1977–78.
It was Divya who first pitched the idea of making a film on the Phogats after reading an interesting article on a ‘father who turned cowshed into a wrestling arena for his daughters.’ Her idea for the film was immediately green-lit by the production house, which also retained her title Dangal.
Dangal which released on December 23 last year is continuing its dream run at the box office in its fourth week. The has collected Rs 370.11 crore so far and is showing no sign of slowing down.