Some coincidences can be strange. While reams have been written about how Kareena Kapoor was the original choice for Heroine, but was replaced by Aishwarya Rai only to replace her later, little is known of the fact that Aishwarya might have had a hit film less in her filmography, had Kareena not turned down Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s offer of acting in his 1999 film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Yup! That’s right. Kareena Kapoor was the first choice of Sanjay Leela Bhansali to act in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, a love-triangle tale about a man reuniting his wife with her estranged lover. The two men in the film were Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan; the female lead was played by Aishwarya Rai. However, Ash wasn’t the original choice.
The role was first offered to Kareena Kapoor. But since Kareena was too young at that time, she didn’t take Bhansali’s offer.
“He (Bhansali) and I have wanted to work together for a long time now. And yes, he had offered me Hum Dil De… but at that time I was too young. Plus, I was also going abroad for higher studies. So I couldn’t take up that offer,” Kareena Kapoor is quoted as saying in an interview.
History almost repeated itself again in 2011, when Kareena was offered Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine, but couldn’t do it. The role then went to Aishwarya Rai, who walked out of the project later due to her pregnancy. Bhandarkar went back to Kareena and she happily stepped into the breach.
Likewise, Kareena Kapoor’s wish to work with Bhansali has also materialized, more than a decade after Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Kareena is working in Bhansali’s next film Ram Leela, starring Ranveer Singh as the male lead.