Actresses Who Turned Down Roles Opposite the Khans!!!!!


Starring Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan in the lead role of a taxi driver cum tourist guide, ‘Raja Hindustani’ was the biggest blockbuster film of 1996 in India. It set the box office on fire from the very first day of its release and turned out to be the third most commercially successful Bollywood film of the 1990s. Produced at a budget of Rs. 5.75 crores, the film pulled in a whooping Rs. 76.34 crores worldwide, a collection which was unheard of back in 90s. It is also remembered till date for its melodic compositions. The movie has gathered a huge following over the years and thus has been given the status of an all time blockbuster.

The musical love story stars Karisma Kapoor as the leading lady. Karisma, who played the character of rich and sensitive Aarti Saigal in the movie, received huge compliments for her stunning looks and performance in the film. ‘Raja Hindustani’ is considered to be the best film of her entire career. It catapulted her to the league of top actresses in the 90s. She received her first Filmfare Award in the Best Actress in a leading role category. But do you know that the role which changes her career completely was first offered to Aishwarya Rai. Yes! Aishwarya was supposed to play Aarti, but she turned down the role because she was not much interested in a career in films at that point of time and was busy with her studies and modeling assignments.

Not just her, but the same role was offered to Juhi Chawla also. Juhi did not accept the offer due to some personal issues with Aamir Khan. It was also reported in the media that Pooja Bhatt was almost ready to sign the film, but on Aamir Khan’s request, director Dharmesh Darshan had to look for some other actress as Aamir did not want to work with any actress he had worked with before.


Not just Juhi Chawla, but a host of other leading Bollywood actresses of the 90s also turned down the role of Nisha opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the all time blockbuster film ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (1997). The said role was first offered to Manisha Koirala and then to Juhi Chawla, Raveena Tandon, Shilpa Shetty, Urmila Matondkar and Kajol before Karisma Kapoor gave her nod to do it.

Ironically, the decision of playing the second lead in the film worked in Kapoor’s favor as she did not just win oodles of praises for her brilliant performance, but also walked away with the National Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film had three actors in it – Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor – and all the three got the Filmfare Awards for their great performances.

The musical romantic film was helmed by veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra. Though SRK had previously collaborated with Chopra on critically and commercially successful films like ‘Darr’ (1993) and ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995), ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ marked the very first association of Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor with the Yash Raj camp. And the end result was marvelous. Upon its release on 30th October 1997, the film opened to overwhelming response. Made on a budget of almost Rs. 9 crores, the film went onto gross Rs. 59.82 crores in India and became the third highest opener of the year behind ‘Border’ and ‘Koyla’. With global collection of Rs. 71.86 crores, ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ emerged as the highest grossing Indian film of the year worldwide. The film has attained cult status over the years.


The bigger a film is the more trivia it has in store for movie buffs. ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, a 1998 blockbuster film which has attained a cult status over the years, was a huge movie in all the possible ways. It had the evergreen Jodi of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. It had the music of the hit composer duo Jatin-Latin and it was shot on a really lavish scale. Besides all this, it marked the directorial debut of a man who went on to emerge as one of the finest filmmakers of current generation. Yes, it is none other than Karan Johar. The film changed everybody’s life associated with it. But only a handful of people know that what sort of problems Karan had to face to get the casting done for his dream directorial debut. His script for the iconic film was rejected by multiple actors in a row.

Undeterred by all rejections, Karan continued his search and finally found his lead in Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. But his problem did not end just there. He had to move heaven and earth to finalize the second female lead for the film. Karan Johar first offered her role to his best friend Twinkle Khanna. The role of Tina, which was inspired from Twinkle’s nickname, was originally written for her only. But Twinkle politely turned down the offer for reasons best known to her.

Surprisingly, it was not just Twinkle Khanna who refused to do the said role, In fact, after not getting a favorable response from her best friend, Karan approached a host of actresses such as Raveena Tandon, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tabu, Urmila Matondkar and Karisma Kapoor for the same role. But much to Karan’s surprise, all the actresses turned down the role which ultimately went to Rani Mukerji and changed her fortune forever. SRK and Kajol were already established superstars, but the way its success shot newbie Rani Mukerji to instant stardom in something beyond imagination.


Shilpa Shetty, who made her acting debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the successful crime thriller film ‘Baazigar’ in 1993, was the original choice of the director duo Abbas-Mustan to play the female lead in the movie ‘Baadshah’ (1999). She was roped in for the film in 1995 but bowed out when the film kept being delayed again and again. Reportedly, the film was delayed for 2 years.

After Shilpa Shetty’s exit, Karisma Kapoor, who was one of the most sought after actresses back in the 90s, was approached to play the female lead Seema in the movie. But the actress did not sign the film for reasons best known to her. After her rejection, the makers approached Twinkle Khanna who readily agreed to be a part of the action comedy film. The audience had quite liked Karisma’s pairing with Shah Rukh Khan in the super hit film ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ which released just two years before ‘Baadshah’. Had the actress starred in this film with SRK, who knows it might have turned out to be a bigger success?

‘Baadshah’ hit screens on 27th August 1999, across 280 screens. It received mixed response from critics and made Rs. 1.10 crores on its opening day. It grossed Rs. 3.21 crore in its opening weekend, and rested its first week earning at Rs. 5.88 crores. By the end of its theatrical run in the domestic market, the movie made Rs. 14.87 crores, and was declared “Average”. However, its multiple repeats on satellite earned it a lot of audience in the following years and is quite popular among kids in India. Shilpa Shetty must have regretted her decision of quitting the film.


Today, it is almost impossible to imagine any other actress in the character of nerdy Naina Catherine Kapur, a role played brilliantly by Preity Zinta in the critically and commercially successful film ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ (2003). But the fact is that Preity was never the first choice to play the said role. Karan Johar, who produced the film under his production banner Dharma Productions, had written the character of Naina keeping his best friend Kareena Kapoor in mind whom he had directed in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (2001). When Karan approached Kareena for the film, she quoted an exorbitant fee as her remuneration. Reportedly, the price which she quoted was at par with the film’s main lead Shah Rukh Khan. Karan refused to fulfill her blatant demand and instead signed Preity Zinta. Both Karan and Kareena had a public falling due to this episode.

Karan Johar even opened up about his spat with Kareena Kapoor in his recently launched book ‘An Unsuitable Boy’. Writing about his fallout with the actress, he says, “My first problem was with Kareena. She asked for too much money and we had some kind of a fallout at that time. ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge!’ had just released, directed by Kunal Kohli. She said, ‘Aditya Chopra’s assistant Kunal Kohli has made this flop, so Karan Johar’s assistant, Nikhil Advani is not to be trusted either. The weekend of ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’s release, I offered her ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, and she asked for the same money that Shah Rukh Khan was getting. I said, ‘Sorry’. Reportedly, they did not speak to each other for more than nine months after this incident.

Anyway, the film was finally offered to Preity and rest is history. Upon its release on November 27, 2003, across 400 screens, the film received unprecedented response of the critics and audience alike. It was one of the most successful and highest grossing films of the years. The film has attained a cult following over the years.


Psychological thriller ‘Ghajini’ (2008) is a film which no Indian film enthusiast can forget. It was the film which laid the foundation of the now very popular Rs. 100 crores club. The film made 6 packs abs passé and introduced Indian youth to 8 packs abs. Every young lad in every nook and corner of the country tried to copy Aamir Khan’s bald look from the film. The film also marked the debut of south Indian actress Asin into Hindi film industry.

‘Ghajini’ was a remake of the Tamil film ‘Ghajini’ (2005). It starred Suriya, Asin and Nayanthara in the principal roles. Its main plot was adapted from Christopher Nolan’s successful Hollywood flick ‘Memento’. The Tamil version was directed by A.R. Murugadoss who also directed the Hindi remake. After watching the original Tamil film, actor Aamir Khan was so impressed by its story, screenplay and action that he decided to remake it in Hindi. Reportedly, the makers wanted to rope in Priyanka Chopra in the Hindi remake, but she refused to sign the film as she was not very convinced of her role in it. After her denial, they started looking for another Bollywood actress who could fit the bill. But Aamir was so impressed by Asin’s performance in the Tami version that he requested the actress personally to reprise her role in the Hindi version also. But the makers were not willing to rope in a South Indian actresses opposite Aamir as, they thought, the film would limit the audience. It was Aamir Khan’s strong decision that Asin remained a part of the film. Later producers agreed to go with Aamir’s choice and let Asin play the role in the Hindi version also.

The movie released on 25th December 2008 and smashed a number of box office records set by previous Bollywood films. Within days of its release, it emerged as the highest-grossing movie of all time. Its record was broken the following year when ‘3 Idiots’, which also starred Aamir Khan as the main protagonist, went onto earn over Rs. 200 crores in the domestic market.

It’s hard to believe that how an actress can refuse to be a part of a film as iconic as ‘3 Idiots’. But believe it or not, it’s true that there has certainly been an actress who did not find her part in the movie appealing enough to accept it. We are talking about the very beautiful and talented Kajol. The actress was the first choice of filmmaker to play the female lead in the film. But when she was offered the role, she turned it down as she did not find any meat in it. The role then went to Kareena Kapoor who managed to stand out even amid the presence of actors like Aamir Khan, R. Madhvan and Sharman Joshi. Some reports also state that Kareena Kapoor wanted to work with Rajkumar Hirani. So she herself approached him for the role of Pia.

Whatever is the truth, but one cannot negate the fact that despite having a small role, Kareena Kapoor did a fabulous job in the movie and added a film to her credit which will always be remembered as one of the most commercially successful films of her entire movie career. And why just Kareena, ‘3 Idiots’ will be the most memorable and successful film of each and every individual associated with the film.

The movie, which released on 25 December 2009, remained at top the list of highest grossing worldwide Bollywood films till 2013. Its record was broken by the Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer ‘Chennai Express’ and then ‘Dhoom 3’ and ‘PK’. Interestingly, last two films featured Aamir Khan in the lead. ‘3 Idiots’ is a film which is not popular only in India, but in several other parts of the world also. It is also one of the few Indian films to become successful at the time in East Asian markets such as China. Numerous repeats on television have already made it one of the most viewed Bollywood films on television. Over the years, the film has attained the cult status.


‘Kick’ (2014) is known as one of the most successful films of Salman Khan’s career. It is his first film to have joined the much coveted Rs. 200 crores club. Its tremendous success at the box office did not benefit just Salman, but it also gave an impetus to the career of its female lead Jacqueline Fernandez. The film was an official remake of the 2009 Telugu film ‘Kick’ which starred Ravi Teja and Ileana D’Cruz in the lead roles.

Reportedly, British model and actress, Amy Jackson, who predominantly appears in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu films was the original choice to play Shaina Mehra in the film, but when she refused to take up the role, the makers approached Vidya Balan who turned down ‘Kick’ as she found no substance in the character being offered to her. Finally, it was Parineeti Chopra who was approached for the same role, but she too found the role having no substance. So, basically, three heroines were given the chance to romance Salman Khan in the Sajid Nadiadwala directorial before Jacqueline steeped in.

‘Kick’ released on 25th July, 2015, to overwhelming response. On its opening day the movie raked in a whooping Rs. 26 crores, becoming the second highest non-holiday opening grosser behind ‘Dhoom 3’. With an income of Rs. 27 crores and Rs. 29 crores on Saturday and Sunday, the movie took its weekend total to Rs. 82 crores. By the end of its one week run at the ticket window, the film had made an impressive income of Rs. 164.21 crores. ‘Kick’ soon entered Rs. 200 club and became one of India’s most successful films. It ended its box office journey in India at a staggering Rs. 233.14 crores. ‘Kick’ was one of the highest grossing Bollywood films at the time, with a worldwide gross collection of Rs. 402 crores.


Which Bollywood actress would not want to work with megastar Salman Khan? Almost each and every established as well as new heroine in Bollywood dreams to share screen space with him at least once in her career. But it seems all of them just want to romance him, no one wants to be her sister. Maybe that was the reason actress Amrita Rao said no to the role of Rajkumari Chandrika in Sooraj Barjatya’s blockbuster film ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ (2015). The actress was offered to play the role of Salman Khan’s sister in the larger than life family drama revolving around sibling rivalry, which she declined.

Almost every media outlet reported about her decision. Reportedly, the actress turned down the offer as she was not keen on playing a character with grey shades. Some even reported that the actress demanded to be the leading lady of the film. However, her demand did not go down well with the makers and they signed Swara Bhaskar to do the role. Miss Bhaskar did full justice to her character and walked away with a lot of praises from critics and film enthusiasts. However, when Amrita was asked about the same she rubbished all the rumors saying, “No. Okay, I think honestly you should be asking this question to Sooraj Ji, Salman Khan, because I really don’t know where these rumors came from. I was just not so pleasantly surprised hearing that rumors. Barjatya’s are so close to me and are family to me, I am not happy to find such rumors about it.” When asked if she would like to be Salman Khan’s onscreen sister, she said, “Yeah, if it’s a role like ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ (1971) that starred Dev Anand…such brother-sister kinds of roles, then I don’t mind. I don’t think otherwise.”


‘Jai Ho’ (2014), ‘Kick’ (2014), ‘Sher Khan’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ (2015) and ‘Sultan’ (2016), we all know that these are some of the most successful films of superstar Salman Khan’s career, which catapulted him to the peak of superstardom. But what some of us may not know is that this is also a long list of those films which actress Deepika Padukone was offered opposite Khan, but the leggy lass turned them down one after the other for reasons best known to her, robbing the fans of opportunities to see them together on the silver screen.

No doubt Deepika is one of the leading ladies of Bollywood with an enviable filmography which includes super hit films like ‘Cocktail’ (2013), ‘Piku’ (2015), and ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015) among others. But had Miss Padukone also appeared in aforementioned films with Dabangg Khan, her repertoire would have been richer. ‘Sultan’, which released in 2016 and went on to do rousing business at the ticket window, was the fifth film in a row, which Deepika declined with Salman. Some industry insiders have even started saying that now it seems almost impossible for the two actors to share screen space together. However, Deepika, who is known for her fine and refined acting method, has time and again said that she would never miss out on a chance to work with Salman. Then why did she not do ‘Sultan?’

Reportedly, the ‘Piku’ star was not too convinced with her role in ‘Sultan’. She thought the character did not have much substance and hence she rejected the offer. Several other names like Parineeti Chopra and Kangana Ranaut were also considered for the film, but the makers were keen to rope in Deepika only. But after her rejection, the makers approached Anushka Sharma who readily accepted the offer.



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