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15 years of ‘Lagaan’: Interesting facts about Aamir Khan’s film
Shah Rukh Khan was approached?
Ashutosh Gowarikar had approached Shah Rukh Khan for the role of Aamir Khan in 'Lagaan'. But he refused it.
Rani Mukerji and Nandita Das were in the running for 'Gauri'?
Rani Mukerji and Nandita Das were supposed to play the female lead opposite Aamir in 'Lagaan', but later the role went to Gracy Singh.
Aamir's condition to Ashutosh
When Aamir finally agreed to work in the film, he gave Ashutosh a condition to fulfill - Ashutosh should first get a producer to back the film without letting anyone know that Aamir Khan had agreed to star in it.
Cricket match crowd
The crowd cheering during the cricket match was recorded during a test match between India and Australia at Wankhede. They recorded a small part and looped it as required as people kept chanting, "Sachin, Sachin."
Dialogues penned by the director himself
Ashutosh Gowariker has himself penned the English lyrics and dialogues for the film.
Rains were real?
It actually started to rain when the song 'Ghanan Ghanan' began to play during the first public screening of the movie at a theatre in Bhuj. There was a power cut and the screening continued with the help of generators. The entire cast and crew along with the villagers who acted in the movie were there in the packed theatre.
Script is king
Ashutosh, though taken aback by Aamir's rejection of his idea, spent five months working on the script of the film and then went back to Aamir. Aamir though impressed by the script was wary and said he didn't have the guts to do the film.
Authentic ear piercing
For the sake of authenticity, Aamir Khan got his ears pierced so he could wear earrings in 'Lagaan'.
AR Rahman's music was a hit
While Aamir Khan wanted AR Rahman to score the music for the film, he was apprehensive about Rahman's history of not meeting deadlines. Aamir also made Rahman listen to the script before committing himself to the movie.
British actors for real
The film also is the first to use a large number of British actors.
Costume designer wins Oscar
The costume designer of the movie was Bhanu Athaiya, who won an Oscar for Gandhi.
Premiered in Shanghai followed by Beijing
'Lagaan' was the first Indian movie to be widely released in China. The film was dubbed in Chinese and premiered in Shanghai followed by Beijing.
First assistant director
Aamir Khan wanted a first assistant director for the film, but since this concept was new to Bollywood, he wanted to hire someone from the west. Farhan Akhtar suggested Apoorva Lakhia's name who had a lot of Hollywood experience.
Lagaan's building history
The building in which the 'Lagaan' team stayed for over six months was completely destroyed in the January 26, 2001 Bhuj earthquake.
Locations were real
The movie was shot in an ancient village near Bhuj, located in Gujarat's Kutch district, where an Indian Air Force base is located, Bhuj Rudra Mata Air Force Base. Planes used to take off and land at least 3–4 times a day, when the shooting had to be paused for 20 minutes.