New Delhi: Nitish Bhardwaj as Lord Krishna in BR Chopra’s iconic television show Mahabharat was perhaps one of the most endearing characters with his ever smiling face that remained unperturbed in the face of adversity.
However, not many people know that Nitish had refused to play the role when it was first offered to him, according to The Indian Express, which revisited the episode from making of the iconic TV show on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami.
Bharadwaj was initially cast as Vidur, but got replaced and a lot transpired after that. “I was first cast as Vidur and called to the Seth studios for the shooting. When I was in the makeup room, Virendra Razdan came up in costume and said he was playing Vidur. I said, ‘How can you play Vidur? They have called me for the shoot’. I went inside to meet Ravi ji (Ravi Chopra). He told me, ‘You are hardly 23-24. After a few episodes, Vidur is going to be an old man. It won’t look appropriate’. After that, I was jobless as far as Mahabharat was concerned,” the actor had said in 2020 when Mahabharat was being screened again during the pandemic.
Then BR Chopra approached Bharadwaj a second time, to play Nakul and Sahdev. But the artiste wanted to do Abhimanyu. “I knew Mahabharat story and wanted to do something better. Before pack-up, he asked me what I really wanted to do. I told him that I wanted to play Abhimanyu.” BR Chopra assured that his team would think over Bharadwaj’s desire, the report added.
It was only when he was shooting for his second Marathi feature film, that Bharadwaj was ultimately offered the lead role of Lord Krishna. Since there were no mobile phones then, his mother gave him the message that Gufi Paintal was trying reach him.
Gufi Paintal was the casting incharge and also played Shakuni. “I told my mother to say no as I felt I couldn’t do it. She used her wisdom and told Gufi that I was shooting in Kolhapur and she would be able to inform me about his offer only when I return,” Bharadwaj added.
The actor did not contact BR Chopra but happened to meet him somewhere. Bharadwaj told him that only an experienced person could do justice to such a major role.
The actor ended up doing a screen test, passed it and we got our Krishna!