"Then he wanted me to do Padmaavat, but could not get the Khilji for me"
It’s emerged that Aishwarya Rai Bachan was actually Bhansali’s first choice for Rani Padmavati in Padmaavat.
The role was played by Deepika Padukone.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2018 release received a lot of negative backlash amongst some parts of the Indian community.
Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali even received death threats because people were so offended by some elements and notions conveyed in this film.
Subsequently, Aishwarya Rai Bachan reveals that Bhansali initially offered this role to her. The Devdas actress revealed:
“He didn’t get the Bajirao for me.
“Then he wanted me to do Padmaavat, but could not get the Khilji for me at the casting time. So, that’s how it didn’t happen.”
The former Miss World stated that the reason she was not part of either of these projects was that of casting. She shared:
“So, at the end of the day, you need to see the casting.”
“If the casting is not happening, then sometimes, it doesn’t come together.”
“The intention was always there to work together, but it didn’t happen.
“We both love working with each other, so let’s see, whenever it is meant to be.”
Initially, Aishwarya agreed to work on the film Padmavaat but on one condition.
Salman Khan would play the role of the antagonist Alauddin Khilji and they would not have any scenes together.
Apparently, Salman did not accept this condition.
He wanted to be paired opposite her and convey a love story on the silver screen.
Khan was hoping their chemistry in the film would remind their fans of their Jodi in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Due to their professional and personal differences, the role was offered and conveyed by power-couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.
Aishwarya also lost the role as ‘Mastani’ in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2015 release Bajiro Mastani because she refused to be cast alongside Salman Khan.
This stalled the production of the film for years before Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were cast.
There is rumoured to be a lot of animosity between actors Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai Bachan.
Despite working together on the popular 1999 hit Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, they did not want to work together in Bhansali’s epic.
Padmaavat gained a great response at the box office, but many people thought the film misrepresented their culture before it had been released.
Members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena believed that the Bhansali was using this film to destroy the Rajistani culture.
The portrayal of key characters in the film was heavily scrutinised.
For example, many right-wing nationalists in India considered the portrayal of Rani Padmavati was unauthentic.
This meant producers of the film had to make amendments to the song ‘Ghoomar’ for example because of the public outrage.
Some groups also thought the representation of heartless Alauddin Khilji was unfair and unauthentic.
Although Padmaavat received a lot of negativity, it still managed to become one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s biggest hits so far.
It is interesting to note that the death threats Deepika received could have very easily been targeted at the former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai Bachan.