“How will I meet Shah Rukh Khan?”: Imtiaz Ali recalls casting choice for debut film Socha Na Tha

Director Imtiaz Ali, known for his heartwarming romances like Jab We Met and Tamasha, recently shared a fascinating anecdote about his debut film, Socha Na Tha. In a candid interview with Mashable India’s The Bombay Dream, Imtiaz opened up about his initial reservations regarding casting Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the film.

While Imtiaz has always admired Shah Rukh Khan’s acting brilliance, collaborating with him wouldn’t happen until his 2017 film Jab Harry Met Sejal. During the interview, Imtiaz not only praised Shah Rukh Khan’s on-screen talent but also spoke highly of his character.

As Imtiaz himself admitted to casting director Mukesh Chhabra, “The first producer of the film wanted me to cast Shah Rukh Khan as lead in Socha Na Tha. I was like, ‘How will I meet Shah Rukh Khan? How will he do this film and if Shah Rukh will do this film then why will I need you?'”

Despite his initial hesitation, Imtiaz holds Shah Rukh Khan in high regard. He acknowledges the actor’s immense talent, but also highlights his admirable human qualities.  “Shah Rukh Khan is an amazing person,” Imtiaz stated.  “His human qualities, he is maximum in everything that he does. He has a lot of capacity. As a human being, I will rate him very very high. He is more interested in other people than himself; that’s why he is such a big star.”

On a similar note, it is worth mentioning here that earlier this month, Socha Na Tha turned 19. For the unversed, Abhay Deol made his debut with the film. Celebrating the milestone, Abhay penned a note on social media, which read, “Still feels like it was only yesterday! It’s been quite the learning curve, how innocent and naive we were. Whilst I’m happy that I didn’t cave into market demands and package myself into a brand via endorsements and P.R, I do wish I was a bit more savvy.”


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Also Read: Imtiaz Ali on casting Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra in Amar Singh Chamkila and opting for live versions of the songs: “It was mandatory for me to cast actors who are singers as well”

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