Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has revealed he wanted to play the role of Gabbar when he first heard the script of "Sholay".
"When I first heard the script of "Sholay" I told Salim-Javed (the scripwriters) 'I want to do the role of Gabbar'. But Ramesh Sippy (the director) decided to cast me as Jai," Bachchan said.
Danny Denzongpa was signed for the role of Gabbar but due to date issues things did not work out and later Amjad Khan was finalised after his name was suggested by Salim-Javed.
Khan as Gabbar, the notorious and feared dacoit of the epic film, which turned 40 this week, put the actor in a different league among on-screen villains.
According to reports at that time, after Khan bagged the 1975 film, there were apprehensions whether he will be able to pull off the role of Gabbar convincingly. But Khan put up such a power-packed performance that the character of Gabbar has been forever etched in the minds of moviegoers.
Big B, however, had no doubt about Khan's abilities. "I never thought he (Amjad Khan) would not be able to do it. It was his voice... as Gabbar...the dialogues became famous," the 72-year-old actor said.
Bachchan said Khan, his co-star in several Hindi films, used to lovingly call him 'Shorty'.
"I had a great equation with him. He used to sarcastically call me 'Shorty'. Whenever we used to walk on the sets people used to call us 'Broad' (Khan) and 'Shorty' (Big B)," he reminisced.
According to Bachchan, the audience connected well with the film as it had a well structured story, great dialogues and powerful performances by actors. He said "90 per cent of the work was done by Salim-Javed... they wrote a wonderful script. Then it was for us to perform."
"The film took two-and-a-half years to make. But we had great time. It was like a family. We used to stay at a hotel which was a bit far away from the location so we used to come in car...there were times when we used to come with Dharamji (Dharamendra) in his car and play cards," he added.
Much of "Sholay" was shot in the rocky terrain of a town near Bengaluru.
Big B is elated that everyone still fondly remembers the iconic film. "While we were working we did not think it would become a milestone (in Indian cinema)."