How Shah Rukh Khan Convinced Hema Malini to Sign Him For Her Film - Blast From the Past
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How Shah Rukh Khan Convinced Hema Malini to Sign Him For Her Film - Blast From the Past

There was a time when Shah Rukh Khan had to convince Hema Malini to give him a chance to work with her in her directorial venture. Find out what happened

As business in movie theatres across India came to a grinding halt this week, I recalled only one incident in the past when movie theatres were shut down across India. It was after the demolition of Babri Masjid in December 1992  and the film most hard hit by the closure was Hema Malini’s Dil Aashna Hai, the film that had Shah  Rukh Khan, then an eager newcomer, and Divya Bharti and with which Hema Malini turned director.

After the demolition, riots broke out in several parts of the country leaving the harried actress-director with no choice but to postpone her film’s release. Dil Aashna Hai finally released  on December 25, two weeks late. Divya Bharti was an instant star. Shah Rukh Khan had already become the nation’s  sensation. Deewana had released  two months earlier and …well… a star was born! Coincidentally, the late Divya Bharti was SRK’s co-star  in  his first two releases Deewana and Dil Aashna Hai. And though the former released first, SRK had signed the latter first.

Recalling how she signed SRK Hema Malini had told me how he met her as a newcomer in Mumbai and when she told him, she was turning director, he insisted on being in the film. “I told  him very bluntly that the film was based on  the girl’s character. He could play her boyfriend which was a brief role. He insisted on playing the role. I wish I  could give him more to do,” Hema expressed regret.

The  film was ripped off from the Shirley Conan bestseller Lace. Many years later Hema directed the same story with her daughter, Esha Deol in the lead in a film entitled Tell Me  Oh Kkhuda. Both the versions of the story were crippling flops. Divya Bharati  had a brief but  brilliant career as a  leading lady before she died under  highly  mysterious circumstances.

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