Daniel Craig Auditioned for 'Rang De Basanti': Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

In his autobiography, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra recalls why Daniel Craig couldn't feature in Rang De Basanti.

2 min read

Hollywood actor Daniel Craig had auditioned for the role of the British jailor in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti, but couldn't feature in the movie because he was being considered to be the next James Bond at that time.

In his autobiography The Stranger in the Mirror, Mehra says he wanted to create world cinema and was looking at perfection and discipline when it came to the backend being managed. He roped in David Reid and Adam Bowling, executive producers of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), for his film.


Mehra writes in the book that the duo liked the script of Rang De Basanti so much that they gave their homes on rent and shifted to India to set up the film.

"Reid and Bowling were responsible for casting Alice Patten and Steven Mackintosh for the parts of Sue and James McKinley, respectively. I remember vividly that one of the people who auditioned for the part of James McKinley, the young jailor who walks Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev to be hanged, was none other than the current James Bond, Daniel Craig".
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Filmmaker

The filmmaker adds, "Daniel Craig was my first choice, but he requested if we could allow some time as he was also being considered to be the next James Bond. The rest, as they say, is history".

Mehra also writes how he almost finalised Peter Gabriel, a founding member of the British rock band Genesis, for Rang De Basanti, but ultimately zeroed in on AR Rahman. "The music of RDB was the soul of the film; the songs AR created became de facto national anthems".

The Stranger in the Mirror, co-written by marketer-author Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta and published by Rupa, is full of anecdotes about Mehra's life.

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