After so many years, filmmaker Subhash Ghai revealed that he was under pressure to cast Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan in his romantic drama, Pardes.
Pardes was released in the year 1997 which starred Shah Rukh Khan and newcomers Mahima Chaudhry and Apurva Agnihotri.
Director Subhash Ghai, who was present at the special screening of the film as it completed 20 years in August, he said that his production house wanted Madhuri and Salman for the role of Ganga (which was played by Mahima) and NRI Rajiv (which was played by Apurva) respectively. He said, “After several hits, Trimurti was Mukta Arts’ first flop. When a film flops, the industry is quick to write you off. I decided to write a film in my own style. When the script was over, we were discussing the casting, which was a big problem. My production house thought Shah Rukh could be in the film along with Salman, playing an NRI, and Madhuri would play the central character. I had narrated ‘Ganga’s’ character to Madhuri during Khalnayak too. But I wanted newcomers paired with Shah Rukh. His Trimurti had flopped and DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) had worked, so I knew he was a great performer.”
Film Trimurti which was released in 1995 starred Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff didn’t do that well on the big screen. Ghai said though people in his production house wanted the three superstars together, he was not convinced. “My office wanted me to make the film with Salman, Madhuri and Shah Rukh because then it would be a big film and losses of Trimurti would be covered as well. They were right too. But the director in me wasn’t convinced that we need such a big star cast. I said three big stars won’t go well in the script that I have. I wanted someone who looked like he has come from foreign for the NRI part. It was a big challenge but I finally managed to get Mahima, Apurva and Shah Rukh,” he said.
The film was showcased at New Excelsior Cinema, which was recently acquired by Mukta A2 Cinema, a branch of Ghai’s Mukta Arts. He further added, “Shah Rukh’s image had turned romantic after DDLJ but this role wasn’t romantic at all. The challenge was to tell Shah Rukh that he won’t be like a romantic hero in any shot. Till the end, there was no hero-heroine romance. It was a wonderful thing.”