RBN Web Desk: Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, speaking to the media recently, said that he had refused at least three major Hindi films from leading directors that went on to become big hits. The 83-year old actor, in a six-decade long stage and film career, has never worked in a Hindi film.
Reminiscing, Soumitra said, Hrishikesh Mukherjee had offered him the role of a doctor in his 1971 film Anand. The name of the character was Bhaskar Banerjee. The shooting dates of Anand however clashed with his commitments back home, the thespian said, adding that he has no regrets of not doing the role.
The doctor’s role in Anand was eventually played by Amitabh Bachchan, in what went on to become his first major hit.
According to Soumitra, the other project that he refused was director Shyam Benegal’s 1981 crime-drama film Kalyug, a modern-day adaptation of Mahabharata. Kalyug was a multi-starrer and was produced by Shashi Kapoor who played the role of Karan (Karna) in the film. Shashi offered the role of Dharam Raj (Yudhisthira) to Soumitra, who declined citing that it wasn’t strong enough to warrant his first Hindi film appearance. Since they were close friends and admired each other’s professional decisions, Shashi didn’t press him to do the role, Soumitra added.
Dharam Raj was played by Raj Babbar in the film.
The Apur Sansar actor, more recently, declined to be a part of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Pink. He was offered a judge’s role in the film, which again didn’t have much scope for acting, Soumitra said.
The role in the 2016 courtroom drama film was played by Dhritiman Chatterjee. Pink, made at a budget of ₹23 crore, raked in ₹107.32 crore in revenues. The film also won widespread critical acclaim.