Gulshan Grover revealed that he was cast as the villain, Le Chiffre, in the James Bond film Casino Royale. However, the news made it to the tabloids before an official announcement was made and the ‘upset’ producers decided to replace him.
Casino Royale (2006) was the first film to star Daniel Craig as James Bond. He faced off with expert card player and terror financier Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen. The film was a major box office success with a global collection of $594.4 million, according to Forbes.
In an interview with Rediff, Gulshan said that he was asked about being the next James Bond villain by Prince Charles’ cousin, when he was at Clarence House in London’s St James Palace for a meeting in 2005. “His Royal Highness’s cousin immediately wanted to know if I was really doing the next Bond film,” he recalled.
Gulshan was finalised to play Le Chiffre but ended up excitedly telling one of his reporter friends about it and the news was splashed in the Daily Mirror. “Unfortunately, it appeared before a formal announcement was made. That upset the producers, who replaced me with Mads Mikkelsen,” he said.
Last year, in an interview with Hindustan Times, Gulshan recalled his initial struggle in Bollywood. “I used to stand outside people’s offices for hours; this is after I was a trained actor. So, it’s sincerity and hard work that eventually pay off,” he said.
Gulshan, known for playing negative roles in films such as Ram Lakhan, Avtaar, Hera Pheri and Gangster, also weighed in on the insider-outsider debate. “I’m a product of hard work, but insiders did help me. Shatrughan Sinha got me a role, Amitabh Bachchan recommended me for a movie,” he revealed, adding that while insiders ‘do have it easy’ at first, it is the audience who decides to make someone a star.