Om Puri was one of the most outspoken actors of the country. Never one to hide his anger and hurt, Om once surprised this writer by suddenly asking, “Why couldn’t Govind have cast me in (Amitabh) Bachchan saab’s role in Dev? I’ve the highest regard for Bachchan saab. I played his elder brother in Ravi Chopra’s Baabul, although I am eight years his junior. I did it for the pleasure of working with him for the first time.”
19 years of Dev: When Om Puri felt hurt about not being cast in Amitabh Bachchan’s role
With Dev, which turned 19 years old on June 11, Om felt the situation was different. “I had done a major successful film Ardh Satya with Govind. But when he made a big-budgeted film (Dev) he went to Bachchan saab to play the protagonist. I was given the negative role of the corrupt cop. I have a grouse with directors like Govind, Prakash Jha and Raj Kumar Santoshi. When they need Naseer or me, they come running to us and we happily agree to play whatever they offer. But when they do big-budgeted commercial films, they go to the stars,” he said. Dev also starred Fardeen Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in pivotal roles.
Incidentally, Prakash Jha had finalized Pallavi Joshi to play the lead in Mrityudand. When Madhuri Dixit showed an interest in the role, Pallavi was replaced overnight.
When this writer asked how Prakash pacified Pallavi he said, “I sent her flowers.”
Om Puri and Govind Nihalani had a very special rapport. From the time that Govind directed his first film Aakrosh in 1980, they did seven films together, the last of them being Dev. Significantly, after Dev in 2004, Govind Nihalani has not directed any film, except the Marathi film Ti Ani Itar in 2017
More Pages: Dev Box Office Collection , Dev Movie Review
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