When Aishwarya Rai admitted Shah Rukh Khan had her removed from multiple films, ‘without any explanation whatsoever’
In her second appearance on Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, actor Aishwarya Rai arrived with more maturity and experience than her first time on the show, when she was a fresh face in Bollywood. And in those years, she had already experienced how unfair the industry could be, even to someone as popular and seemingly sorted as herself.
During their conversation, Simi noted that she had scintillating chemistry with Shah Rukh Khan, and asked her why she was removed from as many as five films, including Veer Zaara, with the actor in quick succession.
“How can I have the answer to that?” Aishwarya said, after a long pause and visible discomfort. “Yes, at the time, there was talk of a couple of films that we would be working in together. And then, suddenly they weren’t happening, without any explanation whatsoever. I have never had the answer to why.”
Simi told Aishwarya that Shah Rukh had expressed regret in an interview, and had said that it was because he became involved in her personal life, which he admitted he shouldn’t have. “I don’t have the answer to that,” Aishwarya said, adding that it wasn’t her decision to not do the films.
Asked how it felt to be removed from such big projects, Aishwarya said, “See, at the time, when you have no explanation, you’re obviously completely taken aback, and confused, and hurt. You wonder about it.” Simi asked if she’d ever questioned Shah Rukh. “It’s not in my nature to,” Aishwarya said. “If a person feels a need to explain it, they will. If they never did, they never intend to. So, it's not in my nature to get into questioning what and why. Probably within myself, but I wouldn’t go up to a person and ask why. By the grace of God, I’m not defined by the other.”
Shah Rukh had told India Today in an interview in 2003, “To start a project with someone and then change her for no fault of hers is very difficult. It is very sad as Ash is a good friend. Personally I think I did wrong. But as a producer it made sense. I apologised to Ash.”
Aishwarya said that to his credit, Shah Rukh didn’t give her time to dwell on the situation. “I was never put in a position where I was suddenly sitting there, with these films out of my diary, with absolutely nothing happening career wise, where I would be wondering ‘oh, now what, and why?’”
Aishwarya and Shah Rukh were last seen together in 2016 film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. While Aishwarya had a pivotal role in the film, Shah Rukh had a guest appearance in the role of her ex-husband.
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