Rachel’s Agent Discouraged Her To Do ‘Lagaan’, But Look How Wrong She Was!

‘Lagaan’ is a movie that hardly needs an introduction. It is a creative masterpiece like none other. Ashutosh Gowariker’s inventiveness and impeccable writing coupled with Aamir’s perfection, the film was a massive box-office success in 2001. It also received applauds by critics and cinema lovers all over the world.

‘Lagaan’ was the third Indian film that was nominated in the foreign film category at The Oscars after ‘Mother India’ and ‘Salaam Bombay’. It was also listed in the list of ‘All-TIME 25 Best Sports Movies’ by Time Magazine in the year 2011!

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It was a massive project that year and more than 20 British Actors were roped in. One amongst the many, was the role of the good and fair, Elizabeth Russell played by the beautiful actor, Rachel Shelley!

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Elizabeth had a pivotal role in the film where she supports Bhuvan and his friends and even teaches them the sport of Cricket. She secretly falls in love with Bhuvan’s simplicity and kindness too.


On completion of 16 years of ‘Lagaan’, Rachel Shelley spoke to Hindustan Times about her experience of shooting in India and with Aamir Khan.

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“I had a magical time while shooting for the film. We spent about three to four months for the shoot. I remember it was the first ever mainstream commercial Bollywood film, to use sync sound technology.

I remember Aamir was there at the audition. I was really keen to return to India and work there, because I had been to the country a few times before. So the idea of working there was exciting.”


Rachel was also asked how her family and friends reacted to the news of her doing a Bollywood film. To that she said,

“They were all so excited. But I remember my agent at that time said, ‘Go ahead and do it, but you will never hear of the film afterwards’. Look how wrong she was now.”


Talking about how she felt when the film got nominated for The Oscars, she said that she was “over the moon to hear the news”. Rachel also added –

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“I was lucky enough to be in LA at the time for Oscars. I was happy for India to have a film, which was considered for the Oscars. It was well-deserved.”

Thank you, Rachel for not being discouraged by your agent and taking up the part. We can’t imagine anyone else playing a better Elizabeth Russell than you.

News Source: Hindustan Times