#16YearsofKalHoNaaHo: When Kareena Kapoor Khan wanted to be paid as much as Shah Rukh Khan for Kal Ho Naa Ho!

Anish Mohanty

Kal Ho Naa Ho has clocked 16 years today and here is an interesting anecdote behind the film’s initial casting process. Read on…

Kal Ho Naa Ho clocks 16 years today.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan have worked together in three films (‘Asoka’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ and ‘Ra.One’) till date. Out of these films, barring ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’, they have been paired opposite each other in all the films. Interestingly, both ‘Asoka’ and ‘Ra. One’ were films that were co-produced by Shah Rukh and neither of them managed to make much of a mark at the box-office. While ‘Asoka’ was a losing proposition at the box-office, the performance of ‘Ra.One’ at the box-office was much below expectations.

There is one more film which Shah Rukh and Kareena were going to work together in. After working with Kareena in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’, Karan was keen to cast her in ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, a film which he was producing and his associate Nikkhil Advani was going to direct. Kareena was offered the film, she liked the part but eventually, she ended up not doing the film. Why? Because, she demanded the same amount of money which Shah Rukh was getting for the film!

In his book ‘An Unsuitable Boy’, Karan Johar had spoken extensively about this episode and how Kareena and him had stopped talking to each other after this incident for a while. Had Kareena done the film, it would have also been her first outing with Saif Ali Khan. She was paired opposite him in ‘L.O.C Kargil’ which released the same year as ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, only a few weeks later.

Eventually, Preity Zinta went on to play the role of Naina Kapur and the rest as they say, is history. Interestingly, Preity was in consideration for the role of Geet in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Jab We Met’ at one point of time and as we all know, it finally went to Kareena and it turned out to be a landmark role for her in her career. Guess, Naina was a role that was destined to be played by Preity and Geet was a character that was waiting to be portrayed by Kareena.

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