MR Gopakumar has created an enviable resume in his 40 years of acting career. He has acted in plays, telefilms, and Malayalam films, and has been recognised all over India for the vast repertoire of roles he has played.

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But his recognition was not limited to India, as he ALMOST got cast for The Lost World, a Steven Spielberg film. Yes, you read that right. In 1996, when casting was on for The Lost World, Spielberg wanted an Indian actor for a role. The Lost World was the sequel to Jurassic Park.

Spielberg’s casting agents in India were directed towards M.R. Gopakumar by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, a renowned Malayalam film director. After multiple rounds of discussions and reviews of acting clips, Gopakumar was chosen to play the role of the Indian character in the movie. The news attracted national attention almost immediately, as Gopakumar was set to become the first Indian actor to act in a Steven Spielberg movie. Here is an article in India Today, from 1996.

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However, it was not to be. There were some complications with his work permit, and he was replaced by an actor from outside India. However, there are conflicting reports on why Gopakumar could not be a part of the film, with Gopakumar himself stating that he had gotten a call from the production that his role has been written out from the film, and he was even compensated for the mental stress that caused him.

An Indian did have an encounter with dinosaurs, however, as Irrfan Khan starred in 2015’s Jurassic World.