'Avatar': Govinda’s gift to Hollywood?

Bollywood actor Govinda during his visit to Bhopal, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (PTI Photo)

An Indian actor giving name to a Hollywood movie which goes on to become a global box office blockbuster raking in over $2 billion. Bizzare, right? That’s what Bollywood’s beloved actor Chi Chi aka Govinda claims.

In a recent interview to a television channel, Govinda said Canadian filmmaker James Cameron had offered him lead role in the 2009 blockbuster movie -- Avatar. The sci-fi fantasy flick was, until recently, the highest grosser of all time.

The 'Coolie No. 1' actor said Avatar, which in reality took 10 years to materialise, was originally scheduled to be shot in 410 days – a time period that convinced him to reject the offer. Shooting for that long donning the blue body paint was another thing prompted him to turn down the film.

Instead, he claims he helped the Cameron name the film. 

Another one of his claims -- He'd informed Cameron that it would take him seven years to complete the film.  Cameron supposedly got angry upon hearing that and asked Govinda why he thought so. "What you are imagining is almost an unimaginable thing for many, so it would take time for everyone to understand," Govinda told India TV, recalling the conversation he had with Cameron.

On the show -- Aap Ki Adalat -- the actor also spoke about films he had rejected which went on to become blockbusters such as Chandni, Taal, Gadar and Devdas. 

But the actor said he had his own reasons. For instance, he wanted Shubhash Ghai, Taal's director, to change the title of the film. In Devdas, he said no to Chunnilal's character (later played by Jackie Shroff) because he couldn't connect with it.

From Coolie No.1 to Hero No. 1 to Raja Babu, the David Dhawan-Govinda duo delivered several box office hits, especially comedies. The actor shed light on the tragedy their relationship was going through. Making no bones about things going south between the two, Govinda said Dhawan didn’t offer him a guest role in 2013 flick Chasme Baddoor despite having spoken to him about it. The box office in the 90s and early 2000s saw the actor-director combo roll out 17 films.

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