According to rumours, Rajinikanth was the original choice for Jaleela’s character

Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 18:12 IST

After the release of the movie, the character Jaleela played by Ambareesh was much appreciated by the audience.

Ambareesh auditioned and finalized the role of Jaleela for himself

Forty-one years ago, legendary director Puttana Kanagal launched a film with some newbies. The film, Naagarahaavu, was released across Karnataka and it gained attention before its release because it was helmed by one of the biggest directors of Kannada cinema. The venture was backed by Sri Eshwari Productions by N. Veeraswamy. But, after the release of the movie, the character Jaleela played by Ambareesh was much appreciated by the audience. But did you know that the first choice for the film was Rajinikanth?

Puttanna Kanagal had auditioned for all the roles in Naagarahaavu. The actors had to undergo an audition round to secure their roles in the movie. However, there were rumours that superstar Rajinikanth had auditioned for the role of Jaleela. But there is no record or mention by any journalist about this in the industry. As per rumours, Rajinikanth was chosen by the director. He also shot some of the scenes in the character of Jaleela. But, later the director stopped shooting with Rajinikanth.

Puttanna Kanagal was introduced to Rajendra Singh Babu’s brother Sangram Singh, who introduced him to Ambareesh. He later gave an audition and won the heart of Puttanna with his style and swagger. His audition finalised his role for Jaleela, even though it was a small one, he made it a memorable one.

Puttanna Kanagal made a film of five stories titled Kathasangama in which Rajinikanth was featured. There were speculations that maybe he acted in this movie because his role as Jaleela was cancelled. The megastar played the role of a villain in Kathasangama and delivered a powerful performance.

The movie, Naagarahaavu, was made after Puttanna decided to combine three of TS Subba Rao’s novels into a movie- Naagarahaavu, Ondu Gandu Eradu Hennu and Sarpa Mathsara.

The movie starred Vishnuvardhan, Aarathi, Ambareesh, KS Ashwath, Lokanath, MN Lakshmi Devi, Dheerendra Gopal, Vajramuni and MP Shankar among many others.

TR Subba Rao was acknowledged as the best story writer at the Filmfare awards. Director Puttanna Kanagal received the best screenplay award. Meanwhile, Vishnuvardhan won the award for excellent performance and the state award for best actor.

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