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Did you know Varun was to play Harshad Mehta?

By SUBHASH K JHA
November 24, 2020 14:55 IST
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Photograph: Kind courtesy Varun Dhawan/Instagram
 

Did you know that Varun Dhawan was all set to play Harshad Mehta in a film to be produced by Paresh Rawal?

Unfortunately, the script was stuck and finally, had to be scrapped.

This is when Sameer Nair and Applause Entertainment stepped in and acquired the rights to make a Web series on Harshad Mehta.

A lesser-known Gujarati actor was roped in to play Harshad Mehta in Hansal Mehta's Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story.

Pratik Gandhi has now become a household name.

"I am aware that Harshad Mehta's story has had long journey to the screen," Hansal tells Subhash K Jha.

"Every story has its own destiny. I had to face a lot of resistance while casting Pratik Gandhi. Many big names were suggested, but I wanted Pratik. Then I was advised to do some padding in the casting, but I refused to cast known faces even in supporting roles," he says.

"I feel one of the reasons why Scam worked so well was the relatively unknown faces on screen. They looked like the characters they were playing."

Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story is currently the highest rated show on IMDB in India (9.6) and #16 amongst the top 50 television shows globally.

With phenomenal ratings and record-breaking performance, the show has made it to the list of the top five OTT shows for the last week of October, according to a streaming tracker by Ormax Media. It is, in fact, second on the list with 6.6 million views.

The show has received a remarkable response from audiences for its gripping performances from Pratik Gandhi and Shreya Dhanwanthary, stellar direction by Hansal Mehta and an exceptional script from Sumit Purohit, Saurav Dey, Vaibhav Vishal and Karan Vyas.

"Scam is a special show and I am thrilled it received so much appreciation and applause from critics and audiences alike," says Sameer Nair.

"Being India's first financial drama based on true life personalities, it was from the start a 'risky' idea, but as Harshad repeatedly says in the show, 'Risk hai toh ishq hai'.

"Everything came together magically, right from the screen adaptation of the original source material to the casting choices to the dialogues, production design, music, performances, direction, marketing to the final product," says Nair.

"It was a great team effort with Hansal Mehta as the captain of the ship holding everything together brilliantly."

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