August 5, 2022 6:49:00 pm
The musical adaptation of Aditya Chopra’s 1995 romantic hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge titled Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical has found a male lead in American actor Austin Colby. He will be playing the character of Raj Malhotra, now renamed Rog Mandel, which was originally played by Shah Rukh Khan.
Austin feels ‘honoured’ to be bringing the musical version of DDLJ to the American theatre audience. In an interview with Variety, the actor said he is happy to have Aditya Chopra’s trust. “Hearing him talk about his vision for this musical is inspiring and something I truly believe in,” he told the publication.
Austin Colby also made it clear that he will not try to copy or recreate what Shah Rukh Khan did in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. “I’m aware what my involvement in this production means to many people and I completely understand its impact. I’m not the Raj that Shah Rukh Khan made us fall in love with, nor will I ever pretend to be. I am excited to fulfill the creative team’s vision for this role and I truly believe in the story and how we are telling it,” he said while ensuring that Chopra has a completely new vision for the DDLJ musical.
Earlier, when Austin’s casting was announced by the creators, it drew some flak on several social media platforms for changing Raj’s ethnicity. While Austin will play the male lead, Kajol’s Simran will be played by an Indian-American actor Shoba Narayan.
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Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical is set to be on stage in the Broadway season of 2022-2023, with a world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in September 2022. A global casting search begins shortly headed by Duncan Stewart of Stewart/Whitley casting and Yash Raj Films casting head Shanoo Sharma.
Talking about recreating an iconic film, Aditya Chopra said he is “terribly nervous and incredibly excited”.
“I’m terribly nervous and incredibly excited. I’m a hardcore cinema guy. I have never done theatre in my life and here I am trying to pull off the craziest ambition of my life. But what is giving me confidence is the fantastic team that I have. They are masters of their field and their brilliance and expertise is going to make this a fantastic show,” Chopra shared in a statement.
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