If you are an 80s kid or even early 90s kid, you’d remember the pure joy of waking up early every Sunday morning and tuning in on DD to watch the most epic TV series ever – Mahabharata.
And if you didn’t grow up before the internet and have no clue what we are talking about, think Game of Thrones, but only a gazillion times more impressive and with way better plot. Now imagine if Mahabharata made into a Bollywood movie.
We bet you’ll agree that it would be bigger and better than anything you’d have ever seen! And since SS Rajamouli of Baahubali fame has already announced that he’ll be directing the magnum opus, here’s the list of stars who we think should make the cut and be cast in the legendary saga.
Amitabh Bachchan as Bhishma
Big B is the most natural fit for this role. The grand-uncle of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, Bhishma, was a mighty warrior blessed with wish-long life. He was also indisputably one of the best archers extraordinaire in the mythological epic. With his big voice and more prominent personality, the senior Bachchan would be perfect as Bhishma.
Aamir Khan as Krishna
In Mahabharata, when the Kauravas and the Pandavas were fighting, Lord Krishna became the mediator. Now, we don’t know about you, but we think Amir with his pleasing personality and socially conscious image, seems apt for this role. His playful smile and boyish charm are reminiscent of how the legend of Mahabharata describes Lord Krishna. And since it rumored that he’s on-board SS Rajamouli’s movie adaptation of the saga, we are keeping our fingers crossed that he gets the role.
Arjun Rampal as Arjun
We swear that we didn’t pick Arjun only for his great looks and chiseled physique for this role. The model-turned-actor has earned a lot of following for his acting chops, and we are sure he will do justice as the tall, strong, and humble Pandava king. Mahabharata describes the eldest Pandava as a righteous leader with sage-like qualities, and we feel Arjun will live up to the character with his quiet confidence and calm personality.
Prabhas as Bheema
If you’ve seen Baahubali, you will agree that Prabhas is going to be excellent as the fierce warrior with the towering strength of a thousand elephants. He has the body and the temper to make the dominant role come to life. We can imagine him giving Kauravas a run for their money as the mighty Bheema.
Hrithik Roshan as Karna
The Greek God of Bollywood with looks that can kill will be so right as Karna. With his fighter’s physique and brooding eyes, Hrithik will do a great job in bringing the misunderstood heroic warrior’s character to life. Karna was probably one of the greatest and most powerful warriors in the legend of Mahabharata, only defeated by deceit and not skill. And therefore, Hrithik’s battle scene fighting the Bollywood actor who plays Arjuna will be no short of epic. Wondering who plays Arjuna?
Ajay Devgan as Duryodhana
Ajay is best known as the good cop in Singham, but he has plenty of experience playing a man on the wrong side of the law (remember Company?). And that’s why he will be impressive as Yudhishthira’s nemesis, we think. Duryodhana, if you’d recall, was the perfect anti-hero with a penchant for mace fighting. Our very own Ajay will do a great job as the despicable eldest Kaurava.
Deepika Padukone as Draupadi
Some may think Draupadi was a damsel in distress, but if you read Mahabharata carefully or at least watch the show as we did, then you’d realize that she was pretty fierce. She was, in fact, one of the essential characters in Mahabharata and probably one of the most influential female personas in any mythological tale ever. And Deepika embodies fierce (remember her response to all the haters?). The dusky fearless beauty has everything it takes to play the brave character.
Farhan Akhtar as Arjuna
We were blown away by Farhan’s physical transformation for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The man trained like a beast for the movie, and we think he will rock on as Arjuna, the unparalleled archer who was the bearer of the fabled Gandiva. Arjuna was more than just a warrior. He was also an accomplished performer with a charismatic personality, just like our multi-faceted Farhan.
Rajnikanth as Dronacharya
Because he is the ultimate Thalaiva, he will be perfect for playing the ultimate mentor – guru Dronacharya. Drona was a master of some gravity-defying weapons, just like Rajnikanth in his movies. Besides, who can play the complex character of a guru torn between his love for his favorite pupils?
Ranveer Singh as Sahdev
How can our cast of the most epic Mahabharata ever be complete without the reigning prince of Bollywood himself – Ranveer Singh? We think our Rambo will ace as the youngest Pandava – Sahdev. He may have been young and might even seem insignificant compared to other more popular characters in the monumental epic. Still, in reality, he was an ace swordsman who defeated 40 Kauravas all at once and, indeed, an integral personality in the saga.
Rekha as Kunti
Kunti, along with the fierce Draupadi, is considered the female protagonist of Mahabharata. As a beautiful yet assertive woman who, in a way, shaped the entire course of dynastic destiny in the Mahabharata. After mothering Karna, she chooses the scion of Hastinapura, Pandu, to wed, and becomes the mother of the epic’s heroes: the Pandavas. The reclusive beauty Rekha, who was once known to be the boldest actress of her times and is living her life at her terms, will be the perfect pick to play this complicated role.
Vidyut Jamwal as Nakul
We’ll be honest. We haven’t seen any of Vidyut’s movies to tell if he’s any good as an actor. But with his rock solid abs and fetching looks, he seems to be the right candidate to play the most handsome man in the Kuru lineage known for his sword-fighting skills and diplomacy.
Vidya Balan as Satyavati
Vidya will be perfect in the small but significant role of Satyavati, the queen of the Kuru king Shantanu of Hastinapur, and the great-grandmother of the Pandavas and Kauravas. Satyavati was known to be wise, honest, trustworthy, and faithful with the kingdom’s best interest at heart.
Gulshan Grover as Shakuni
Who can play Mahabharata’s bad man better than Bollywood’s bad man himself – Gulshan Grover? He will be menacingly impressive as the conniving mama who was the lead conspirator of Mahabharata and the mastermind behind the devastating war.
Abhishek Bachchan as Dussasana
Dussasana has to be among the most hated character in Mahabharata, dragging Draupadi by her hair into the assembly at the behest of his equally evil elder brother, and outraging her modesty. Do we feel Junior Bachchan who has proven his mettle playing the antagonist? Remember his epic performance in Raavan? He will be the right fit for this vile role.
What do you think of our selection of Bollywood actors for their respective Mahabharata roles?