Ten years have passed and nobody knew that the Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker was not too keen on Amitabh Bachchan's booming voice to narrate his magnum opus that created history in Bollywood and found entry at the Academy Awards as well.
It was revealed only at the celebration of the completion of 10 years of the film yesterday. And one saw Ashutosh going red with embarrassment. The reason being that Ashutosh's good pal and Lagaan's producer and lead actor Aamir disclosed this in the presence of Big B who was sitting right next to the director on the stage and had to face the questioning look of the towering personality.
The story goes that Aamir was very keen on having Amitabh as the narrator. He had no doubts about it. Without any discussion with his director, Aamir approached senior actor who agreed to do it immediately. For him to have an idea what the film was all about, Aamir showed Amitabh (and Jaya) the rough cut without the climax. But Ashutosh completely refused to have his voice for the film and made Aamir go back to Amitabh and tell him that.
Hesitatingly Aamir went back to Bachchan who gracefully accepted the change. But again after two months Ashutosh changed his mind and decided to have Bachchan's voice for the narration. And poor Aamir had to do the dirty work once again. He went to Bachchan who said yes to Aamir. And interestingly, it is after 10 years that Aamir asked Amitabh whether he had liked the first cut of Lagaan! "I didn't have the guts to ask him then. I feared what he will say," said Aamir.
But Ashutosh, who shares a great rapport with the Bachchans as both Abhishek and Ash have worked in his films, had to bear the brunt. So much so that he gave an explanation to senior Bachchan as to why he did not want him as the narrator. Later, when Big B left the venue, Ashutosh was heard telling his friends that Aamir had put him in a soup by disclosing it in front of senior Bachchan as well as the media.