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Saif Ali Khan ditched Luck By Chance, left Zoya Akhtar scrambling: ‘Actor ne film chod di, usse akhbar se pata chalta tha’, remembers Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap recalled Zoya Akhtar's decade-long struggle to get her first film made, and said that she would find out about her stars dropping out of the project through the newspaper.

saif ali khan zoya akhtarSaif Ali Khan was supposed to star in Zoya Akhtar's Luck By Chance.
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Saif Ali Khan ditched Luck By Chance, left Zoya Akhtar scrambling: ‘Actor ne film chod di, usse akhbar se pata chalta tha’, remembers Anurag Kashyap
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Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap had nothing but kind words to say about his friend and fellow director Zoya Akhtar, as he spoke about the struggles that she had to face to get to where she is now. In a new interview, Anurag said that people might not understand this, considering how Zoya is the daughter of film industry icon Javed Akhtar, but she had to face a lot of hardships to get her first film made.

In an interview with The Lallantop, Anurag revealed that no leading actor would agree to star in Zoya’s first feature, Luck By Chance, and that Saif Ali Khan dropped out of the film without warning. Left with no choice, Zoya had to cast her brother, Farhan Akhtar in the lead role.

Anurag said that Zoya would find out about her actors dropping out of her movie in the newspaper. “Bohot zyaada struggle kiya usne. Farhan uska chhota bhai hai, Zoya ne usse pehle kaam karna shuru kiya… Zoya ko 8-10 saal intezaar karna pada pehli film banane ke liye… Farhan ne 3 film bana li thi tab tak, lekin uske bawajood Zoya ko apne actors khud laane pade (She’s struggled a lot. Farhan is her younger brother, Zoya started working before him. But she had to wait almost 10 years to get her first film made, even though Farhan had made three films by then).”

When Saif Ali Khan dropped out of Luck By Chance, Anurag said, Zoya was left with no choice but to cast Farhan. The industry had a lot of love for her, he admitted, which is why everybody from Hrithik Roshan to Rishi Kapoor showed up for cameos in the film, but nobody was willing to play the lead. “Usne apni jagah banayi hai, usse gift mein nahi mili (She has earned her place here, she wasn’t given anything on a platter),” he said.

He continued, “Uss samay prejudice bhi tha towards a female filmmaker, jo Farah Khan aur Zoya ki wajeh se kaafi toota hai. Zoya ki tragedy thi ki uske actor ne uski film chhod di, usse akhbar se pata chalta tha… Aaj Zoya ko struggle nahi karna padta, lekin woh mukaam usne khud banaya hai (At that time, there used to be a prejudice against female filmmakers, which Zoya and Farah Khan helped break in mainstream cinema… She doesn’t have to struggle now, but she has earned her place).”

After Luck By Chance, Zoya directed the acclaimed hits Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do, and Gully Boy, all of which were littered with stars. Next up, she’ll introduce a new generation of Bollywood actors in The Archies, here adaptation of the popular comic book franchise for Netflix.

First published on: 07-02-2023 at 12:40 IST
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