'Hera Pheri' turns 21: Lesser-known facts about the cult classic

Priyanka Bansal
·2-min read

31 Mar 2021: 'Hera Pheri' turns 21: Lesser-known facts about the cult classic

Any conversation about cult Indian comedies is incomplete without mentioning Priyadarshan's Hera Pheri.

Despite releasing 21 years ago on March 31, 2000, Hera Pheri still manages to tickle the funny bone of viewers.

The movie starring Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal, and Tabu, gave cinema lovers something to cherish forever.

On the movie's release anniversary, here are some fun facts.

#1: The film is a remake of a Malayalam comedy

The film is actually a remake of the 1989 Malayalam comedy, Ramji Rao Speaking, which interestingly is inspired by the 1971 TV movie See The Man Run.

The Malayalam movie dealt with important issues crippling Kerala in the 1980s.

Producer Fazil remade the movie in Tamil as Arangetra Velai.

The movie also had an Odia remake called Wrong Number and a Kannada one, Trin Trin.

#2: Sanjay Dutt was the first choice for Suniel Shetty's role

Shetty, who essayed the role of Shyam, shared a special camaraderie with Kumar's Raju and Rawal's Baburao Ganpatrao Apte or Babu Bhaiya in the movie.

Hence, it's hard to imagine anyone else in that role. But did you know that actor Sanjay Dutt was the first choice for Shyam?

He had to drop out of the project because of his regular court visits.

#3: Karisma Kapoor was to play Tabu's character

Separately, Tabu was also not the first choice for Anuradha, a simple girl who romanced Shyam.

Actress Karisma Kapoor was approached for the project, but she didn't take up the offer, opining that the role wasn't substantial enough. After Kapoor's refusal, actress Mamata Kulkarni was briefly considered for the role.

Things didn't go as planned and finally, Tabu became Anuradha.

#4: Kumar had begged Priyadarshan to give him 'Hera Pheri'

Evidently, the movie played a big role in cementing Kumar's name in the film industry and establishing him as a comic actor.

And it didn't come easy for him.

In an interview with NDTV, Kumar divulged that he had begged Priyadarshan to sign him up. He revealed that he was bored of doing action-oriented roles and wanted to try different genres.

#5: The director made the actors sleep on newspapers

Once speaking about the movie and the popularity it has generated, Shetty had shared an unusual piece of trivia.

He said that the star cast was handed over unironed shabby clothes and the director made them sleep on newspapers.

"He (Priyadarshan) said I don't want you to be comfortable. When you get up, you should have rested, but stay uncomfortable," Shetty had recalled.