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Dharmendra: That One Role Which I Missed Doing




The  legendary actor Dharmendra  who turns  a year  older today, has  no regrets in  life…except for  one.

“I came  this close to playing Devdas . It was a project that I  was really keen  on. But fate  had other plans,” says the iconic  actor who confesses to being a  huge fan  of Bimal Roy’s Devdas.

“The first film that I  signed when I  came to Mumbai was Bimalda’s Bandini. Imagine what  it meant for a  boy from Punjab with no connection in the  film industry, to be  signed by  Bimal Roy! I  was, and I remain  a big fan  of  Dilip Saab and Bimalda’s  Devdas.”

When   the opportunity came  for  Dharmendra  to play Devdas  in a  film directed  by Bimal Roy’s disciple  Gulzar,the actor  grabbed it  eagerly.

Launched in 1975  Gulzar’s Devdas  was to feature  Hema Malini as  Paro and Sharmila  Tagore as Chandramukhi. In hindsight  it seems  ironical  that Hem, a renowned dancer, was not asked  to play  Chandramukhi whereas Sharmila  Tagore a  renowned non-dancer  was cast in the  role.

Speaking on  the Devdas that never got made, Dharmendra says, “I  did work with Gulzar  in Kinara where I had a  guest appearance. But Devdas would have been a unique  experience.”

Another  role that Dharamji  regrets  missing out on is Hrishikesh  Mukherjee’s Anand.  “I was very keen  to do that role when Hrishida told me  about.  But  he  wanted someone else in that role(Rajesh Khanna). Hota  hai. I  was  also offered Zanjeer. You cannot change  destiny. I have no regrets in life.”

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