When Audiences Thought Iqbal Actor Shreyas Talpade Couldn’t Speak For Real

Shreyas Talpade shared a memory when a director didn't sign him for comedy, saying he had a strong image as Iqbal.

After a heart attack in December last year, Shreyas Talpade made a fabulous entry in 2024 with amazing ventures. His psychological thriller ‘Kartam Bhugtam’ released today on May 17. Despite belonging to a Marathi family, this talented guy made his place in the glamorous world of Bollywood with the ‘Golmaal’ franchise, ‘Om Shanti Om’, ‘Housefull 2’, ‘Poster Boys’,  ‘Kaun Pravin Tambe?’ and many. Kicking off with Marathi films, he made his Bollywood debut through Nagesh Kukunoor’s film ‘Iqbal’ starring Naseeruddin Shah alongside Shreyas. In the film, Shreyas played the role of Iqbal Saeed Khan who has speech disorder and is thus unable to speak. After the release of the film, people thought that he had some speaking disabilities for real as Shreyas was a new face at that time.

In an exclusive interview with Lehren, Kartam Bhugtam actor reflected on many memories during his movie Iqbal. He shared an incident when audiences were almost convinced that he couldn’t talk for real. He narrated, “There is a very interesting incident that happened on the release of the film. We did these theatre visits right, me, Nagesh, Rahul Puri, Dipti all of us would go and check the response. And I remember, one of the shows where Nagesh was standing, behind him it was me and then Rahul, Dipti. So people started walking after the show, and they saw Nagesh first and they said, ‘Oh Mr. Kukunoor, oh what a film, what a lovely film’ and then they saw me. And they did some hand gestures and I said ‘thank you thank you’. And he was like ‘huh! You can speak’. I said I can speak, I can hear everything.” For the longest time, people kept feeling that he couldn’t speak and hear.

In the movie Iqbal, Shreyas portrayed the character of an 18-year-old guy but in fact, that time he was 29 years old. He was so adept at his acting, that people were not aware of the fact that Shreyas was married then. Even the producer of Iqbal, Subhash Ghai didn’t know that Shreyas was married just before Iqbal. Shreyas humbly gave all the credit of Iqbal to Nagesh. “Whatever I did in Iqbal, if people liked it, it is only thanks to Nagesh. Because he really hand-held me throughout the film,” he added.

Iqbal created a really strong image for Shreyas which was difficult for him to break because many thought he couldn’t play a comedy role with the same conviction. He said that one of the filmmakers of a popular comedy franchise (which became a franchise later) told him that “You know what, you have a really strong image as Iqbal, a very serious kind of film, so I don’t know how people will accept you in comedy.” But after that Golmaal happened and that changed some equations for Shreyas. Later that same director met Shreyas at the success party of Golmaal and hugged him and said, “Galti ho gayi (It was my mistake).” And then that filmmaker (Shreyas chose not to reveal the name) and Shreyas worked together in one of the films.

Watch this exclusive interview of Shreyas Talpade to know more about his film journey with various movies like Dor, Golmaal, Om Shanti Om etc. 

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