Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has revealed that Hollywood star Daniel Craig — of James Bond fame — had auditioned for the role of James McKinley for his film Rang De Basanti. Rakeysh shared many of his life experiences in his autobiography, The Stranger In The Mirror, which is co-written by Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has been in news for his recent film Toofaan, starring Farhan Akhtar. In his recently released autobiography, the filmmaker mentioned that after Daniel auditioned for Rang De Basanti, he was approached for the role of James Bond, so the actor requested some time from him.
Rakeysh wrote, “I remember vividly that one of the people who auditioned for the part of James McKinley, the young jailor who walks Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev to be hanged, was none other than current James Bond, Daniel Craig.”
The filmmaker mentioned that Daniel was his first choice for the role. He wrote, “Daniel Craig was my first choice but he requested if we could allow some time as he was also being considered to be the next James Bond. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Eventually, instead of the James Bond actor, Steven Mackintosh played the role of James McKinley.
Rang De Basanti was released in 2006. The film starred Aamir Khan in the lead role. Siddharth, Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan, Sharman Joshi, and others were seen in supportive roles in the film.
In the same year, Daniel Craig debuted as James Bond in Casino Royale. He went on to play the British spy in four films. These include Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre, and the yet-to-be-released No Time to Die.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, on the other hand, recently released his sports drama Toofaan. Though the film received mixed reviews, Farhan Akhtar was lauded for his performance. Toofaan is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.