A throwback video of the Pakistan Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan, has been circulating, showing him in an interview on a live Indian television show. During the interview, asked whether he had ever been offered a role in Bollywood popped up, after which he admitted that he had been asked to work in a film once.
'You won’t believe it but I was once I asked by a brilliant Indian actor who we all look up to, to act in one of his upcoming films. In fact, he even turned up in England to request me, but I was puzzled',Mr. Khan said.
He was then asked details about who asked him and why he rejected. To which Mr. Imran Khan said, 'I won’t name him because it’ll be embarrassing.' But the host continued to push for an answer, 'No it’ll be a credit to him.'
'Okay, it was Dev Anand, who in my time was very well known.' Mr. Khan revealed, adding that 'For me it’s strange, to think that just because I’m a cricketer, doesn’t mean I can be an actor as well. It doesn’t make sense. Ismail Merchant also once asked me to act in a film, but again I was puzzled because I can’t act. I couldn’t even act in a school play, let alone a film.'
The fact was later revealed in Anand’s autobiography, Romancing with Life as well, when the actor passed away in London in 2011. According to reports in the book Anand quoted that he wanted the Pakistani cricket star to play the role of a star in decline in his film Awwal Number. Aamir Khan played the up-and-coming cricketer. Mr. Imran however didn’t accept the offer from Anand, who then approached actor Aditya Pancholi.
Anand wrote that Mr. Khan was speechless when he first told him about the film. 'You have bowled me over, Mr Dev Anand. But I don’t think I am a good actor,' he said modestly.
Anand made the call from Bangalore and told Mr. Khan that he would be on the next available flight to London in order to convince him further.
In London, Mr. Khan invited Anand to his flat in Soho. 'Imran was hospitable and obliging, a gracious host, warm and friendly, the sign of a great sportsman,' wrote Anand. But Mr. Khan 'kept harping' on his political ambition. Anand left the script of the film with him and Khan returned it the very next evening with a note that said he wouldn’t be able to take up the offer.