Sounds strange! Here’s why Raaj Kumar rejected ‘Zanjeer’ before Amitabh Bachchan did it

1973 was the year which marked the birth of a megastar. The reason is ‘Zanjeer‘, a film that gave Bollywood its first ‘angry young man’ aka megastar Amitabh Bachchan, released that year. In just few days, the movie will complete 44 years since the day it was released. And now, we have dug up an interesting fact. Amitabh Bachchan’s role in ‘Zanjeer‘ became an iconic one. Can you imagine anyone else playing it? What would say if we told you that he was not the first choice for the role?

Before Amitabh, veteran actors like Dilip Kumar, late Dev Anand, Dharmendra and late Raaj Kumar had been approached for the role, which they declined. Everyone had their respective commitments, issues and demands due to which they couldn’t take up this part. But, late Raaj Kumar’s reason to reject ‘Zanjeer’ was perhaps the strangest one ever. According to facts, late filmmaker Prakash Mehra had approached him and the actor (Raaj Kumar) was ready for the  narration. Both of them met and the director read out the script to him. (Also Read: Did you know? Amitabh Bachchan’s mistake on the sets led to Vinod Khanna’s injury)

Post the narration, Raaj Kumar got up and in his inevitable style refused to be a part of this film. The reason for the refusal was that he couldn’t stand the smell of the hair oil used by Prakash Mehra. Surprised or shocked? Yes! The facts suggest that it was the fragrance of the director’s hair oil that turned out to be the reason for Raaj Kumar’s iconic rejection.

Strange, isn’t it?

Well, one can say that it was destiny as the role was tailor-made for Amitabh Bachchan. The ease with which he essayed the role of Inspector Vijay Khanna was phenomenal, and thus started his ‘angry young man’ phase.

However, later on Raaj Kumar and director Prakash Mehra let the bygones be bygones and teamed up for films like ‘Muqaddar Ka Faisla’ (1987) and ‘Mohabbat Ke Dushman’ (1988).

Not just this, but director Prakash Mehra’s last movie ‘Bal Bramhachari’ (1996) witnessed the debut of Puru Raajkumar, Raaj Kumar’s son.

Well, this is quite a fact.