Even after almost 45 years of its release, Ramesh Sippy's Sholay is still fresh in people's mind. But Sholay wouldn't have become the cult classic it is, if not for each of its characters and the writing. From Jai-Veeru's yarana to Basanti-Dhanno's bonding, the film is remembered for its quirky and melodramatic writing and the actors who played the iconic roles.
Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan wrote the film and helped the director find the actors for the characters
The writer-duo Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan wrote the film and helped the director find the actors for the characters. While writing the role of Gabbar was a fun task, finding an actor who will do justice to the character was not that easy. Danny Denzongpa was originally signed to play Gabbar, but because of an earlier commitment made to Feroz Khan's Dharmatma, he had to step down.
Javed Akhtar remembered seeing an actor called Amjad Khan in a play called Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon in Delhi in 1963
Javed Akhtar remembered seeing an actor called Amjad Khan in a play called Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon in Delhi in 1963. The writer was so impressed with Amjad that he had mentioned it to Salim Khan several times during their partnership. He immediately offered to take him to Ramesh Sippy, saying that the finest role in the biggest film in recent times could be his. But this was not it. Amjad Khan's unconventional voice was seen by many as a major dampener. Since Gabbar was among the most important characters in the film.
People today cannot imagine anyone else playing the role of Gabbar better than Amjad Khan
Salim-Javed didn't want to spoil the film because of their recommendation and therefore told Ramesh Sippy to replace Amjad. When Amjad found out about this, he was extremely upset. However, director Ramesh Sippy went ahead with his decision and kept Amjad Khan for Gabbar Singh. The decision turned out to be a fruitful one, and people today cannot imagine anyone else playing the role of Gabbar better than Amjad Khan.