An old video of Prime Minister Imran Khan recently started circulating on Twitter where the former cricketer was being interviewed at an Indian television show. During the conversation, the host asked whether Khan was ever offered a role in a Bollywood film, on which he admitted that Dev Anand of all people asked him to act in his movie.
“You won’t believe it but I was once asked by a brilliant Indian actor who we all look up to, to act in one of his upcoming film. In fact, he even turned up in England to request me, but I was puzzled,” Khan said.
When the host and audience in the show continued to push for an answer, Khan revealed the name.
“Okay, it was Dev Anand, who in my time was very well known. For me it’s strange, to think that just because I’m a cricketer, doesn’t mean I can be an actor as well. It doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, Ismail Merchant also once asked me to act in a film, but again I was puzzled because I can’t act. I couldn’t even act in a school play, let alone a film,” he added.
Dev Anand once asked Imran Khan to act in one of his films. 😂pic.twitter.com/2VzkpMMkU6
— HK Scientist (@HK_Scientist) December 30, 2019
The incident was also mentioned in legendary actor Dev Anand’s autobiography, Romancing with Life. According to an Indian publication Mid-Day, in the book Anand quoted that he wanted the Pakistani cricket to play the role of a star in decline in his film Awwal Number. The film’s plot was that the Indian cricket team is on a losing streak, thanks to its arrogant captain Ronny, he’s replaced by newcomer Sunny, which sets off a bitter rivalry.
Aamir Khan played the up-and-coming cricketer Sunny. Imran Khan, however didn’t accept the offer from Anand, who then approached actor Aditya Pancholi for the role of Ronny.
Anand wrote that Khan was speechless when he first told him about the film. “You have bowled me over, Mr Dev Anand. But I don’t think I am a good actor,” Khan was quoted as saying.
Dev Anand came to London in order to convince the sportsman. Khan invited Anand to his flat in Soho. “Imran was hospitable and obliging, a gracious host, warm and friendly, the sign of a great sportsman,” wrote Anand. But Khan “kept harping” on his political ambition. “Anand left the script of the film with him and Khan returned it the very next evening with a note that said he wouldn’t be able to take up his offer,” Mid-Day reported.