In a way, Junaid Khan was the first choice to play the titular role in the Advait Chandan directorial.
Last Updated: 07.51 AM, Aug 01, 2022
Aamir Khan's filmography is a mixed bag of a lot of genres. The superstar has led the films, which are original screenplays, biopics, and even adaptations. With Laal Singh Chaddha, Khan has taken it up to the next level as the film is an adapted screenplay of the Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump, which was released back in 1994. As the film is being remade, it's easier to take references from the iconic flick, but there's always a catch when it comes to Khan.
During a recent media group interaction, the superstar shared that he was sceptical about having Advait Chandan as the director of Laal Singh Chaddha. The filmmaker has been Khan's manager who turned director with Secret Superstar. While zeroing in on Chandan as the director, Khan also said that his son Junaid Khan just returned from the US after graduating in theatre.
The actor claimed that he advised Chandan to have Junaid in the test video for Laal Singh Chaddha, which could be an exam for both of them.
As Khan stated, "As soon as I saw the test video, I was blown away. I knew mera chance gaya (I thought my chance had gone). That innocence of Laal that we were planning to get was out there while I would have to act it out. The innocence on his face was Laal Singh, and I would have had to work incredibly hard to get there. I don’t have that innocence anymore, and he did that naturally. Junaid was simply outstanding and I felt he was the right guy to play the part."
Thus, Khan showed the test video to many of his friends from the film industry, including Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, and Rajkumar Hirani, among others. Although most of them gave a nod that Junaid should play the lead, Chopra and Atul Kulkarni (the writer of Laal Singh Chaddha) insisted that Khan should only play the titular role.
He went on to say, "They wanted me to play the character. According to them, the story of Forrest Gump isn’t that solid. It’s an episodic movie, which requires a star. A new actor can’t pull this off. So when the discussions came back around, I started to grow my beard again."
While praising Junaid, Khan also said, "I didn’t expect him to be better than me. I got influenced by Junaid and got the courage to act. His scenes from the test video were my inspiration for the film. I observed his eyes and took the character from there. This is the journey of how I became Laal Singh Chaddha."