Exclusive: Not Taapsee Pannu but Deepika Padukone was the first choice for ‘Saand Ki Aankh’


Fans of Deepika Padukone are going to be surprised, disappointed, and left wondering whether the actress made the right choice by opting out of the Tushar Hiranandani-directed biopic drama Saand Ki Aankh that releases this Diwali. The film is reportedly a true story on the octogenarian sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and her sister-in-law Prakashi Tomar of Johri village in UP’s Baghpat district who were known as Shooter Dadi and Revolver Dadi. Their roles are played by Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu respectively in the film.

The story goes that before Taapsee, it was Deepika who was approached by Vikas Bahl to play the role of Prakashi. This was before Vikas got trapped in the #MeToo movement that swept Bollywood and was finally responsible for the dissolution of Phantom Films which comprised Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena besides Vikas. Saand Ki Aankh was then taken over by Anurag with Reliance Entertainment coming on board as co-producer.

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Deepika was in the midst of shooting for Padmaavat. And while she liked the script of Saand Ki Aankh, the actress was skeptical about accepting the film as she wondered how the audience would accept her in the role of the octogenarian village sharpshooter after playing Queen Padmaavat in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s grand and opulent historical. After she said no, the role went to Taapsee who immediately grabbed it.

The rest is history. The first poster of Saand Ki Aankh was released on Holi and the first teaser came out on July 11. Taapsee and Bhumi have been sharing their looks from the sets of the film on their social media accounts. Taapsee, who trained in air pistol and rifle shooting for her role, also lived for a short while with Revolver Dadi Prakashi Tomar to get into the skin of her character. Some of the outfits and jewelry worn by the actress in the film were loaned by the old lady.

Chandro Tomar, who is 87, began learning how to shoot when she was in her 60s. She is believed to be the oldest woman sharpshooter in the world and has won 25 National Championships. Prakashi took up shooting to encourage her daughter Seema (now an international shooter) at the Johri Rifle Club. She was so good, that Prakashi was urged to enter a competition where she came up against DIG Dheeraj Singh of the Delhi Police. Prakashi won and then competed in and also won 25 National Championships.

(Source: PeepingMoon)