The musical adaptation of Aditya Chopra’s 1995 romantic hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, titled Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical has found a male lead in American actor Austin Colby. He will play the character of Raj Malhotra, now renamed Rog Mandel, who was originally played by Shah Rukh Khan.
Austin is “honored” to bring the musical version of DDLJ to the American theater audience. In an interview with Variety, the actor said that he is happy to have Aditya Chopra’s trust. “Hearing him talk about his vision for this musical is inspiring and something I truly believe in,” he told the publication.
Austin Colby also made it clear that he will not try to copy or recreate what Shah Rukh Khan did in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. “I am aware of what my participation in this production means to many people and I fully understand its impact. I am not the Raj that Shah Rukh Khan made us fall in love with, nor will I ever pretend to be. I’m excited to fulfill the creative team’s vision for this role and I truly believe in the story and how we’re telling it,” he said as he assured that Chopra has a whole new vision for the DDLJ musical.
Earlier, when the creators announced Austin’s casting, there was some criticism on various social media platforms for changing Raj’s ethnicity. While Austin will play the male lead, Kajol’s Simran will be played by an Indian-American actor, Shoba Narayan.
Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical is scheduled to hit the stage for the 2022-2023 Broadway season, with a world premiere at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in September 2022. A global casting search begins shortly. Headlined by Duncan Stewart of The Stewart/Whitley Casting and Yash Raj Films Casting Director Shanoo Sharma.
Speaking of recreating an iconic film, Aditya Chopra said he is “terribly nervous and incredibly excited.”
“I am terribly nervous and incredibly excited. I’m a hardcore movie guy. I have never done theater in my life and here I am trying to carry out the craziest ambition of my life. But what gives me confidence is the fantastic team I have. They are masters in their field and their brilliance and experience will make this a fantastic show,” Chopra shared in a statement.