Rakesh Roshan On Why Kareena Was Replaced in ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’

As Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai completes 20 years The Quint caught up with filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, who shared some fun anecdotes about the film. A lot has been spoken about how Kareena Kapoor was supposed to be launched with Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai but things didn’t go as planned.

Kareena was the first choice for Sonia’s role, which eventually was played by Ameesha Patel. However, on the very first day of shoot Rakesh Roshan realized that Kareena’s mother Babita was adamant about certain things, and so they decided to part ways.

Rakesh Roshan told The Quint what exactly went wrong. A set was built at Filmistan Studio for a song sequence. Four days before the shoot was supposed to begin Kareena’s mother Babita asked Rakesh to not begin shooting with a song because Kareena was not ready. Instead, the director was asked to start with dialogues.

" Kareena’s mother Babita, who I have a lot of respect for, said, ‘Don’t begin with a song, she’s not ready. Start with dialogues.’" - Rakesh Roshan, Filmmaker

Rakesh Roshan disagreed and tried to reason with Babita why Kareena will be more comfortable shooting a song on the very first day. He says, “I said, ‘No Babita, I think a song is better because she’ll be very familiar to the whole unit. It’ll be much easier. To say a dialogue and to act is a little more difficult than to lip-sync to a song. Of course we will train her.’”

"“Babita was a little adamant about it. So I said, ‘This way I cannot work because tomorrow you might say, don’t do this, don’t do that. I think it’s better we part ways because we are good friends.’ So we parted ways.”" - Rakesh Roshan, Filmmaker

Also Read: 20 Years Later, 20 WTF Moments From ‘Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai’ 

When Kareena walked out of the film, Rakesh Roshan was in a fix because his set was ready and they were supposed to start shooting in four days. His manager called to ask if he should dismantle the set but the filmmaker took a call to keep it intact. He says, “I had already spent 80% of the money, so I decided let me spend 20% more.”

During that time he was attending a wedding where he met his boarding school friend Amit Patel. He noticed a pretty girl with him who was introduced to him as his friend’s daughter. Rakesh Roshan asked if she was interested in films, “I casually asked her if she was interested in films. She said she hasn’t given a thought to it but she doesn't mind. So I invited her over to our house. I called Ameesha and made both Hrithik and her sit together. I saw that they were a perfect match and they would make for an excellent pair on screen,” Roshan told The Quint.

"“I told Ameesha ‘You are not going back home. You are staying here for three days. Three days into the shooting, I have to get your clothes stitched, narrate the script and coach you’. She stayed with me for three days at our house.”" - Rakesh Roshan, Filmmaker

Thus began Ameesha’s journey in Bollywood.

Also Read: Hrithik & Rakesh Roshan: From ‘Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai’ To ‘Kaabil’

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