Bobby Deol says he was supposed to play Akshay Kumar’s role in Ajnabee: ‘This industry is ruthless’


Bobby Deol, calling the film industry ‘ruthless’, has said that projects he set up were taken away from him in the past. The actor in recent years has been making a steady comeback into the mainstream, and has spoken frankly about dropping out of the limelight for several years.

In a new interview, the actor admitted that he was supposed to star in Ajnabee. The film eventually went on to star Akshay Kumar in the role originally intended for Bobby, who ended up playing a different character. “The people I offered the project to, they eventually took the project from me and made it with themselves,” he told Bollywood Hungama, and added, “That’s how it is, this industry is ruthless.”

Previously, Bobby in a tell-all interview to HuffPost India had said that he had set up Jab We Met with director Imtiaz Ali, but was replaced by Shahid Kapoor at the insistence of Kareena Kapoor, who was dating Shahid at the time.

“There was a studio called Shri Ashtavinayak who wanted to sign me. I told them that let’s sign Imtiaz. He has a script ready. And let’s talk to Kareena Kapoor. The producers were like, oh no, that guy will make an expensive film. Kareena, on the other hand, didn’t even want to meet Imtiaz. I took them to Preity Zinta. She agreed but said she can do it only after 6 months. So we were stuck,” Bobby said.

But to his surprise, Bobby found out that Kareena had signed the film, and had got Imtiaz to hire Shahid to play the main role. “I was like, wow. Quite an industry,” Bobby said, adding that he was also supposed to do Highway with Imtiaz as well. “But I have no hard feelings against him,” Bobby added. “He is a great director and doing so well. We’re still friends. But I always tell him: ‘Imtiaz, I won’t watch any of your films until you make one with me. That’ll be your best film.’”

Also read: When Kareena Kapoor got Imtiaz Ali to replace Bobby Deol with Shahid Kapoor in Jab We Met

After four years out of the game, Bobby made his comeback of sorts with Shreyas Talpade’s Poster Boys, and followed it up with appearances in ensemble films Race 3 and Housefull 4 (also starring Akshay). This year, Bobby has appeared in Netflix’s Class of 83, produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, and then in the Prakash Jha-directed series Aashram.

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