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Home > Entertainment News > Bollywood News > Article > Vishal Bhardwaj reveals Saif Ali Khan was reluctant to cut his hair for Langda Tyagi in Omkara Exclusive

Vishal Bhardwaj reveals Saif Ali Khan was reluctant to cut his hair for Langda Tyagi in Omkara | Exclusive

Updated on: 16 December,2023 12:16 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Vishal Bhardwaj reveals how despite being in talks with Aamir Khan, he ended up casting Saif Ali Khan in Omkara

Vishal Bhardwaj reveals how Saif was cast in Omkara

Key Highlights

  1. Bhardwaj reveals he wanted to make a film called Mr. Mehta and Mrs. Singh with Aamir Khan
  2. Langda Tyagi in Omkara was inspired by a real-life gangster from Meerut
  3. Bhardwaj saw Saif Ali Khan in Dil Chahta Hai and decided to cast him

Omkara is one masterpiece by Vishal Bhardwaj that we'll probably never tire of watching. He also managed to extract some unthinkable performances from his cast members. Who would have imagined Saif Ali Khan as the raw and rustic Langda Tyagi? Aamir Khan was initially interested in the role, but he couldn't find the time to do it.

During Mid-day's latest Sit With Hitlist conversation, Bhardwaj opened up on how another film he was planning to make with Aamir, did not materialise, either. 

Why did a film with Aamir Khan not happen?

There was a film called Mr. Mehta and Mrs. Singh. Aamir has a very strong creative view of the films he does. When he agreed to do that film, he may not have thought about it, but when we came close to shooting, he was uncomfortable with a certain way I was seeing the film. He wanted that changed and I thought that that’s the only way for me to make that film. If that’s not the way I don’t want to do the film. Both of us were headstrong. 

How did you think of Saif Ali Khan to play Langda Tyagi? Also, Langda Tyagi is actually someone you knew?

That was the reference point because he was a street fighter, gangster. We used to call him Langda Rathi. When I started writing Omkara I was visiting all those gangsters I I knew and I had very close association with. Rampal Tyagi is one of them, then there was Anand Shukla. That Tyagi hostel and western Kacheri road, that ilaaka of Meerut was full of gangsters. And mujhe sab bahot pyaar karte thay (They used to love me a lot).


Cricket khelta tha, so they used to think I was a blue-eyed boy. Cricket mein sabka interest hota tha. Tyagi Hostel mein match hota tha toh sab aake dekhte thay. I used to sing also at that time. They used to call and ask me to sing... So I used those reference points from my adolescence... 

Aamir was so fascinated with this character, he said whenever you make this film I would love to be considered for Langda Tyagi. That remained with me. The film didn’t happen and I was not working for 1.5 years. I wanted to make a film desperately. Aamir was busy with other things. He was shooting Rang De Basanti. 

How did Saif come into the picture?

At that time I saw Saif in Dil Chahta Hai. Saif us se pehle jo tha na, uski voice thodi feminine thi, uski performance ajeeb si hua karti thi. In Dil Chahta Hai he worked on himself a lot. He was a different Saif. Mujhe laga iss bande ke andar zabardast fire hai, isne apne aap ko poora transform kar diya. I told him if you are ready to work hard, no one will expect this from you. He was ready for that, except for cutting his hair. He did not want to cut his hair and it took a lot of convincing. Otherwise, everything else he did was more than we asked for.

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