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Not Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra was JP Dutta’s first choice to play Umrao Jaan: Here’s how the casting changed

umrao jaan aishwarya rai bachchan

When JP Dutta planned to make Umrao Jaan, based on the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada, getting a lead who’d be at par with Rekha from the Muzaffar Ali classic was a huge challenge. Though today, we might consider Aishwarya as a worthy choice to fit into Rekha’s shoes, back in the day, Aishwarya wasn’t even the first choice of Dutta for the role of protagonist Amiran.

So if we tell you, that not Aishwarya, but Priyanka Chopra was to romance Abhishek Bachchan in Dutta’s 2006 musical drama, will that leave you intrigued?

Priyanka was then a newcomer trying to find her footing in Bollywood. In fact, she had also started preparations to get into the skin of the courtesan. So what changed things? “Her clogged dates diary,” said JP Dutta to PTI in 2005.

Dutta revealed that despite attempts at working on Priyanka’s calendar, the dates issue couldn’t get resolved. “I had reached a stage where I had to take a decision….

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