Shah Rukh Khan Wasn’t First Choice for DDLJ after 30 Years

Published on Jul 5, 2024 by

Shah Rukh Khan Wasn't First Choice for DDLJ

In a surprising twist to the legacy of one of India’s most iconic films, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), it has been revealed that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was not the initial choice for the lead role. Released in 1995, DDLJ is recognized as a landmark film that established Shah Rukh Khan as a premier romantic hero in Bollywood.

The revelation comes from a book about DDLJ written by Anupama Chopra. The book details that Aditya Chopra, son of Yash Raj Films’ founder, initially wanted Hollywood star Tom Cruise for the lead role. Aditya’s vision was for the film to explore a romance between an American man and an Indian woman.

Shah Rukh Khan Wasn't First Choice for DDLJ

However, Yash Chopra, Aditya’s father, disagreed with this casting. He insisted that the lead roles should be filled by Indian actors. This decision led to a change in the movie’s storyline, setting the stage for Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol to be cast as the protagonists.

Kajol, who played the female lead, shared her reluctance about the original casting idea. She felt that if Tom Cruise was to be cast, then a Hollywood actress like Meg Ryan should play the opposite lead.

Ultimately, Aditya Chopra directed the film, with both lead characters being Indian. The story was revised to have Raj and Simran meet during a European vacation. This plot twist led to the iconic pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, whose chemistry became one of the film’s most beloved aspects.

DDLJ became a blockbuster, influencing Bollywood cinema and becoming a cultural touchstone. This backstory about its casting adds a fascinating dimension to its historic success, showing how film-making decisions can alter the course of cinema history.

About the Author: Gulrukh Chaudhary

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.

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