When Aishwarya Rai impressed Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali with her eyes

Published on Jun 18, 2021 04:24 PM IST

Sanjay Leela Bhansali once opened up about his first meet with his Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The filmmaker recalled meeting her at the premiere of Aamir Khan's Raja Hindustani and was mesmerised by her eyes.

It has been 22 years since Aishwarya Rai-Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil Chuke Sanam released.
It has been 22 years since Aishwarya Rai-Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil Chuke Sanam released.

Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's on-screen relationship began with the release of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The 1999 release not only proved Aishwarya was more than just a beautiful face but her bond with the director continued as they collaborated on Devdas and Guzaarish. The actor had also once revealed that she was offered other movies, like Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, of Bhansali.

However, did you know their first meet took place at the screening of Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor's Raja Hindustani? Sanjay Leela Bhansali had once shared anecdotes from his and Aishwarya Rai's first run-in, adding that it was her eyes that mesmerised the director.

Speaking with Filmfare, Bhansali had said, "There’s something in her eyes. That’s the most important aspect of her beauty. They are not ‘normal’. They are so powerful that even if you don’t give her dialogue, they emote. Some eyes have devi shakti (power of the goddess). Like Hemaji’s (Malini) eyes. Like Lataji’s (Mangeshkar). Also, her eyes are beautifully coloured and fill up naturally. When I met her for the first time inhi aankhon ka asar huwa tha (these very eyes had affected me deeply). I remember we were at the screening of Raja Hindustani."

"After the film she came up to me in the lobby, shook hands and said, “Hi! I am Aishwarya Rai. I liked your work in Khamoshi.” Our hands met, our eyes met. I saw a fire in her eyes. Those days I was looking for a girl to play Nandini. I said to myself, ‘Yehi to hai meri Nandini (she is my Nandini)’. People had doubts, whether she would deliver because she had a Miss World image and a Western face. But I thought why not tie her hair in a plait and give her a traditional look?" He added, thus paving the way for her addition to Hum Dil De Chukke Sanam.

Also read: When Aishwarya Rai was ready to do Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat but Sanjay Leela Bhansali couldn't find a lead

On Friday, June 18, the movie completed 22 years of its release. Actor Ajay Devgn has shared a post on social media, with a couple of unseen pictures from the sets. "22 years of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam; Salman, Sanjay, Ash & I knew we were making a super-sensitive film. Didn’t think though that it would create history. Humbled," he said sharing the pictures.

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