What if Salman Khan had agreed to do Chak De India when it was offered to him instead of Shah Rukh Khan who finally acted in it to high critical acclaim? Now, this is a question from film aficionados to discuss over multiple cups of coffee. However, it is true that Salman was the first choice when Yash Raj Films decided to do the iconic film with director Shimit Amin. The film went to Shah Rukh Khan and the rest, as they say, is history.
Salman had spoken about this when he was promoting Sultan. When asked by media what made him pick up the film based on wrestling, the actor had replied, “This was the first good sports film that came to me.”
When reminded that Chak De India was also offered to him, he had joked, “I left it because even Shah Rukh Khan should be a part of a few great films.” On a serious note, he had added, “When I was offered Chak De, my image for totally different as I was doing Partner and all those kind of films. My only thing in Chak De was that my fans would expect me to wear a wig and win the match for India which would not go for the film. That was not my genre at that point of time. It was more serious kind of film and I was doing more of a commercial kind of cinema which I am still doing. I would never move out of commercial cinema zone but it is just that there would be a lot of meaningful cinema in the commercial zone.”
The 2007 film was about a disgraced hockey player who decides to coach the women’s hockey team. He shapes a rag-tag bunch into a team of go-getters and finds redemption in the process. The film won multiple awards and critical acclaim.