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Gauahar Khan lost out on Slumdog Millionaire because she was too ‘good looking’

Gauahar Khan has worked in films like Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year with Ranbir Kapoor and Begum Jaan with Vidya Balan. However, when the actor was asked in a new interview if she ever lost out on a role because of how she looked, Gauahar said one of the ‘biggest projects she lost’ was because she was ‘too good looking for it’. She said Danny Boyle auditioned her multiple times for his film 2008 Slumdog Millionaire, that won eight awards at the 81st Academy Awards, including best picture. Freida Pinto and Dev Patel starred together in Slumdog Millionaire. 

Gauahar said there was ‘no formula’ for getting good roles. She said being good looking did not guarantee success. She also narrated her experience with Danny Boyle, and how he could not ‘place her’ in a slum with her ‘face’.

“One of the biggest projects I lost in my life was because I was too good looking for it, and it was Slumdog millionaire. I have met Danny Boyle, and I have done five rounds of auditions for it. After the fifth round he said ‘you’re a fantastic actor, are you sure you’re trained in India?’ At that time, I had hardly an experience, and I said ‘I’ve trained in India’. He said, ‘you speak like an actor who is from out of India, not from India, so how do you have this experience?’ I said ‘sir I don’t know, I just try and do it every single day’. He said ‘you are such a fab actor but somehow I won’t be able to cast you here because I have to match three age groups and I can’t place you in a Slumdog Millionaire with your face. I said, ‘I can be in a slum’,” Gauahar told Film Companion.

She added she did not have any regrets about it, as she met Danny Boyle and he thought she was ‘a great actor’. Gauahar said she was ‘very happy’ that she was getting roles, where the directors felt they ‘needed a performance’.

Gauahar also spoke about working on Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year. She said her character was required to be ‘not good-looking’ and opened up on how the film’s director Shimit Amin and the team had to ensure she wore extra ‘jarring’ make-up to fit the character.

“In Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year the endeavour was to make me not so good-looking. Shimit Sir would say put more pink colour on her eyes and cheeks, and put more jarring lipstick on her, because that was the look, the character. She was not meant to look super good-looking… Shimit Sir would still say ‘she’s still looking too pretty, put more make-up on her’,” Gauahar said.

After making her acting debut in 2009 film Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year with Ranbir Kapoor, Gauahar made appearances in films like Begum Jaan, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, and others.

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