In the narrative surrounding “Thugs of Hindostan,” Fatima Sana Shaikh emerges as the actress who secured the role after Deepika Padukone and three other Bollywood divas reportedly turned down offers to sign almost for free. Despite her stellar debut in Aamir Khan‘s ‘Dangal’ in 2016, Fatima faced challenges in navigating her career after the weighty expectations set by her inaugural success.
As Aamir Khan transitioned from ‘Dangal’ to ‘Thugs of Hindostan’, speculation swirled that he aimed to cast his on-screen daughter, Fatima, in the film. However, as per a report un koimoi at that time, Deepika Padukone was already associated with the project. Deepika initially joined the cast opposite Hrithik Roshan, the original choice for the lead role. When Hrithik demanded substantial script changes and subsequently departed from the film, Aamir Khan expressed eagerness to join the project.
Despite Aamir’s considerable financial demands and a significant profit percentage, Aditya Chopra agreed to meet the actor’s terms. However, in a strategic move to offset Aamir’s high fees, Aditya Chopra sought an actress willing to work on the project without significant compensation. Deepika Padukone, learning about this compensation plan, declined to be part of the ensemble, a sentiment shared by Alia Bhatt and Shraddha Kapoor.
This left Aditya Chopra with two choices: his preference, Vaani Kapoor, and Aamir Khan’s choice, Fatima Sana Shaikh. Ultimately, the deciding factor came down to the financial terms, with Aamir having his way in selecting Fatima.
Despite the strategic casting decisions, ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ turned out to be a box office disaster, prompting Aamir Khan to take a four-year sabbatical. His subsequent film, ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, also faced challenges in 2022. As for Fatima Sana Shaikh, the aftermath of ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ did not hinder her career, as she took on diverse roles, playing Indira Gandhi in ‘Sam Bahadur’ and a biker in ‘Dhak Dhak’. The film’s lackluster performance did not hinder the actress’s trajectory.

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