Kartik Aaryan was the first choice for Imtiaz Ali’s Chamkila bio-photo


The actors are therefore known because that is what they do: act. Impersonating/embodying/representing people they are not. That’s why Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol and Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor could play Sikh characters in singh is Kiing(sic.). Frontier, Hero and Rocket Singh Seller of the Year.

But now it’s different. Only a homosexual can play Freddie Mercury. I know Rami Malek who played him in the Mercury bio-pic was not gay. But that was four years ago. Now, if you want to play Stevie Wonder, you have to blindfold yourself before you audition.

Kartik Aaryan just lost the opportunity to portray controversial Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila whose provocative songs about Punjabi culture were often seen by conservatives as an insult to Punjabiyat. Chamkila and his wife were brutally shot when he was just 27 years old by unknown assailants who probably gave him a gun for his gana.

By the way, Diljit is 38 years old. Chamila died at age 27. But it does not matter. Aamir played a student in Rakeysh Mehra’s Rank of Basanti at 42 years old.

Moving on, Kartik Aaryan was considered the most eligible for the role of Chamkila, as the young actor is considered to have compelling connectivity with young people. Director Imtiaz Ali had worked with Kartik in I love Aaj Kal and it was a ‘given’ that Kartik Aaryan would play Chamkila.

But now it’s Diljit Dosanjh who has landed the difficult role. Insiders tell me it’s because Dosanjh can sing. Kartik Aaryan can’t.

We hear you. Imagine Jaya Bhaduri in Abhimaan or Ranbir Kapoor in rock star being told to buzz while they can’t sing in real life. Hrishikesh Mukherjee would have just been forced to sign an actress who can sing (Sulakshana Pandit??!!!) and At Lataji’s soul songs in Abhimaan would have been sung by the actress who could sing.

No, I believe the real reason Dosanjh finally grabbed the role was his Punjabiyat. This seems really alarming to me. According to this reasoning, Vivek Oberoi would never have been allowed to play PM Modi. Whether that would have been a good thing or a bad thing is the question.

Yes Diljit Dosanjh plays Chamkila and the turban? Chamkila was not a Sikh. He doesn’t wear a turban. Diljit told me very clearly won’t take off his turban for a role. I can’t wait to see how this “minor” problem will be fixed.


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