Hema Malini is not just the ‘dream girl’ of the Indian film industry but also the first person to offer Shah Rukh Khan a film. On the occasion of her 75th birthday, here is more about how she signed Shah Rukh Khan for her directorial project Dil Aashna Hai after rejecting his first audition for the project but approving his second. Soon after bagging Hema’s film, Shah Rukh signed three more films, one of which was Deewana that turned out to be his debut film as it released before hers in the year 1992. Also read: Kareena Kapoor on how ’emperor’ Shah Rukh Khan is different from Aamir Khan: ‘Biggest star India has ever seen’
Shah Rukh Khan’s TV career before film debut
Shah Rukh Khan had entered the industry as an actor in 1988 with the TV show Fauji, in which he played Lt. Abhimanyu Rai. He was also seen in other shows like Dil Dariya, Circus, Doosra Keval, a TV film titled In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones and a mini TV series Idiot before his film debut.
Shah Rukh Khan’s casting in Hema Malini’s directorial
In her biography titled Hema Malini: Beyond The Dream Girl, it is mentioned that Hema wasn’t satisfied with Shah Rukh’s first audition for Dil Aashna Hai but gave him one more chance with a change in his hairstyle and outfit.
As per an India Today report, an excerpt from Hema’s biography read: “Hema remembers how nervous Shah Rukh had been during that first meeting. Apparently, every question of hers was met with a breathless, incoherent reply! The first audition left her dissatisfied. Hema suggested they try again – this time with his hair gelled back and his colourful jacket replaced with a plain tee. The results were satisfactory but just to be doubly sure, Hema called Dharmendra over to come and meet the young actor. Dharam, it is believed, took a liking to the young man instantly.”
Hema on how Shah Rukh Khan signed more films after her film offer
Another excerpt had Hema talking about how her guru predicted Shah Rukh’s stardom. Talking about Shah Rukh, Hema said in the book, “When she saw his photograph for the first time she told me that Shah Rukh is a star and he will change the industry. Since then, I knew that something big was going to happen with my movie. The day he signed my film, the same week he had signed four other films, including Deewana, King Uncle (1993) and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa(1994).”
Little did Shah Rukh know that he will go on to star with Hema Malini in Kamal Haasan’s 2000 film Hey Ram. Hema also had a pivotal role in Shah Rukh and Preity Zinta-starrer Veer Zaara.