In the past it was Reema Lagoo who constantly played Salman's mother in film after film since Main Pyar Kiya. In his recent films barring Dabangg, where Dimple Kapadia played his mother, Salman's character has not had a mother-figure in his reel life. In the Dabangg sequel, the mother was no more.
And that isn't a coincidence.
Says a source very close to Salman, "Bhai takes the mother's role in all his films very seriously. There was a time after Maine Pyar Kiya when Reemaji (Reema Lagoo) was Salman's favourite screen-mom and he insisted on having her play his mom. After Reemaji the one screen-mom whom he really warmed up to was Hemaji."
Apparently, when a screen-mom was required in Sohail Khan's Jai Ho, Salman insisted on Nadira Babbar.
Says the source, "Salman is really close to the Babbar family. Raj Babbar Saab stepped in to play Kareena Kapoor's father in Bodyguard on Salman's insistence. And now Nadiraji who doesn't care to act in films has agreed to play his mom in Jai Ho only because he was very keen."
The last time Nadiraji was seen on screen was as Aishwarya Rai's mom in Gurinder Chadha's Bride & Prejudice 9 years ago.
Confirming his wife's return to screen Raj Babbar says, "Nadira did this film with Salman because she is very fond of him. We all are. We can never say no to him."