By the time Zero story was ready, I felt it belonged to Shah Rukh, not Salman: Aanand L Rai

For the first time in his 26-year-old film career, Shah Rukh Khan will be seen playing a dwarf in Aanand L Rai’s Zero, which also stars Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. There were reports suggesting Rai first considered casting Salman Khan to play the lead character. When asked about this during an interview, the director confirmed the news.

As a director you get an opportunity to meet a lot of actors. I got a chance to meet him [Salman Khan] with the idea during [the making of] Raanjhanaa (2013). At that time, it was just an idea. They are such big actors that they give you that space. He said this is very interesting and I should work on this,” he said. 

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Rai couldn’t work on Zero immediately after, since his hands were full with Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015). When he finally completed writing Zero, he realised Shah Rukh would better fit the character. “That took me one and a half or two years. By the time I was ready with the story, it ended up as a different story. By that time, it started belonging to Shah Rukh Khan. I felt that as a director. So, I went to him with the story,” Rai said. 

The filmmaker added that this is quite normal. “I think our industry functions like this. There are times when directors come to me and discuss a story. There are times where I discuss certain ideas with actors. There are also times when an actor comes and tells me ideas,” he said. 

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Salman now has a cameo in the film. Zero is all set to be released on 21 December.

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