When Madhuri Dixit Refused to Shoot for Devdas Over Money Issues – Blast from the Past
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When Madhuri Dixit Refused to Shoot for Devdas Over Money Issues – Blast from the Past

Madhuri Dixit may have won audience’s heart with her performance in Devdas but there were plenty of problems during the shoot

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas remains to this  day  one of the most lavish and  high-budgeted films of all times. It  wasn’t easy making it, as  the  producer Bharat Shah, accused  of alleged  underworld connections,  was in and out of courts and hospitals while the epic was being  shot at  a budget that boggled the mind.

“We literally  didn’t have money for  the  next day’s shooting. I’d  be at the hospital in the evenings waiting for Bharatbhai to sign vouchers, hoping  the funds for  the  next day’s shoot would materialize  anyhow,” shudders  Bhansali to this day.

Given the bleak financial prospects, two of  the  lead actors Shah  Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai willingly shot without getting paid. But one  day the  film’s third lead Madhuri Dixit decided to put her  foot down.

Madhuri Dixit refused to shoot  until she was paid. Recalls  an eyewitness, “She  locked herself in her van and refused  to come out until  she  was paid. It  was horrific. Everyone, Shah Rukh, Ash, Jackie Dada, supporting actors and  technicians  waited on  the  lavish set. Madame Dixit  was  nowhere  to be seen She sent a message saying she would  shoot only when paid.”

The  harried director had  to leave the shooting and  frantically arrange for  some  cash—don’t ask where he  got it from-- before Madame Dixit descended on to  the set.

Shooting resumed. But something broke. Bhansali never worked with  the actress again.

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