Sushant Singh Rajput's untimely demise has triggered a debate on nepotism and toxic working culture in Bollywood. Amid this, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap in a recent interview, opened up about the late actor. He said that he had offered Sushant two films, but he decided to working with big banners because he wanted their 'validation'.
Anurag also revealed that Sushant was the first choice for Hasee Toh Phasee. However, the actor picked out Shuddh Desi Romance over it.
'Sushant Was Super Successful And Made Choices For Himself,' Says Anurag Kashyap
Anurag told NDTV, "Sushant was very successful. You make your career based on your choices, not on your talent. Aap kya choose karte ho, aap kiske saath kaam karte ho, woh aapka career banata hai (What you choose and who you choose to work with, makes your career). Sushant was super successful and made choices himself."
Anurag Reveals How Sushant Bagged His Debut Film Kai Po Che!
The filmmaker revealed that he met Sushant when he had just finished the casting for Gangs of Wasseypur. He was quoted as saying, "(Casting director) Mukesh Chhabra used to operate from my office. Sushant aaya, maine kaha, 'Yaar, tu Bihar ka ladka hai. Mujhe pehle milta toh main tujhe film mein kaam de deta (When Sushant came to meet him, I said, 'Oh, you are from Bihar. If I had met you earlier, I would have given you a role in the film).'"
Anurag then recommended Sushant's name to Abhishek Kapoor, who was specifically looking for a TV actor for Kai Po Che!"
Anurag Kashyap Wanted To Cast Sushant Singh Rajput In Hasee Toh Phasee
However, the actor ended up talking to Yash Raj Films (YRF), who was handling Parineeti, and signed a three-film deal with them.
Anurag was quoted as saying by NDTV, "YRF called him and said, 'We'll give you a deal. You do Shuddh Desi Romance.' Sushant, who used to sit in my office with Mukesh and all of us used to sit together, signed up with YRF and dropped Hasee Toh Phasee, a film of an outsider because usko validation YRF ka chahiye tha (he wanted validation from YRF). It's with every actor, so I am not holding any grudges."
Eventually, Sidharth Malhotra played the male lead in Hasee Toh Phasee.
Anurag Approached Sushant For Another Film In 2016 But Things Didn't Work Out
"Years later, in 2016, before the release of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Mukesh went to Sushant and said, 'Anurag has written a script looking for an actor who can play someone based out of Uttar Pradesh.' Dhoni released, became a success and he never called me back. I was not upset, I moved on, I did Mukkabaaz," Anurag revealed in his interview.
Anurag Says Outsiders In The Film Industry Seek Validation From Certain Big Banners Like Yash Raj Films, Karan Johar's Dharma Productions Or Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The filmmaker said, "That validation you are seeking, and one can't blame you. It's a choice you have made, but you also have to deal with this. The boy was very talented but at that time, he chose Drive over a film that I was doing because he was dying to work with Dharma."