Today, January 14, marks 22 years of Hrithik Roshan and Ameesha Patel’s debut Bollywood film Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai. While the film went on to win several accolades – and even feature in the Guinness World Records (2002) for a feature film with the most awards won, did you know its director, Rakesh Roshan was attacked by the mafia?
Yes, this is true. Soon after the release of KNPH Rakesh was shot outside his Santa Cruz office. The assailants had fired six rounds, of which two bullets had hit him. Read on to know what Hrithik has to say about it and why it happened.
In a past conversation, as reported by Hindustan Times, Hrithik Roshan got candid about the impact the mafia has in Bollywood, their involvement in movie production, and how real a threat they used to be for people. It was during this time that Hrithik gave the interviewer the example of his own father’s clash with the mafia.
In 2000, while shooting for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Hrithik Roshan was interviewed by American-British comedian Ruby Wax. During their conversation, Duggu got candid about the mafia threat to Rakesh Roshan post the release of Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai and said, “My father was in a lot of debt because we had borrowed a lot of money to make the film. The film struck big time–it was the biggest hit in the past five-six years. The one that made me a star.”
Hrithik Roshan continued, “Just in the first week (of Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’s release), this happened. They knew my father has hit big time, he is successful, money is going to come in. So they wanted money, we didn’t pay. They shot him. Point blank.” However, he added, “That’s what made me believe that there is no point living in fear. If you are destined to die with that bullet, you will. If you’re not, you won’t. So it’s okay.”
It was only 20 years later that the assailant was arrested. In 2020, the sharpshooter Sunil V Gaikwad was taken into custody. The police, at the time of his arrest, said, “The accused has 11 cases of murder and seven cases of attempt to murder registered against him. One of these includes an attempt on Bollywood director Rakesh Roshan’s life in 2000.”
Talking about Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, the film saw Hrithik Roshan play double roles – Rohit and Raj. The action-romance made both him and Ameesha Patel overnight stars. As per reports, the film earned close to Rs 80 crores at the box office upon release.
Stay tuned to Koimoi for more interesting throwback stories and trivia about your favorite movies and stars.