Shah Rukh Khan regrets Aishwarya Rai’s replacement in ‘Chalte Chalte’ : ‘My Hands Were Tied’

Shah Rukh Khan regrets Aishwarya Rai’s replacement in ‘Chalte Chalte’ : ‘My Hands Were Tied’

Shah Rukh Khan regrets Aishwarya Rai’s replacement in ‘Chalte Chalte’ : ‘My Hands Were Tied’

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Shah Rukh Khan reflects on the difficult decision to replace Aishwarya Rai with Rani Mukerji in ‘Chalte Chalte,’ citing collective production choices and on-set disruptions.

Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have shared a wonderful on-screen chemistry, whether as siblings in ‘Josh’ or lovers in ‘Devdas.’ However, there were several other movies where they were set to co-star, but those plans fell through. Notably, during an old interview on Simi Garewal’s show, it was revealed that ‘Veer-Zaara’ was initially written for Aishwarya. However, she was replaced in five films alongside Shah Rukh Khan.

Aishwarya responded to this revelation by stating that she had no idea why these changes occurred. 

Recently, an old video discussing this matter resurfaced on Reddit, where Shahrukh expressed his regret over replacing Aishwarya in ‘Chalte Chalte.’ He explained that although he valued their professional relationship and close friendship, he wasn’t the sole producer of the film. The decision was a collective one.

“Very saddened at the fact that Aishwarya was a very close friend. I have done some really marvelous films with her and I genuinely mean that. She has been one of my favourite co-actresses and we’ve done some really nice work — Josh, Mohabbatein, Devdas — and enjoyed together, and we get along really well. Personally, it is very saddening not to… for something to reach at this level. I feel very sorry about it and I genuinely do,” Shah Rukh said

“As a producer, my hands were tied because I am not the only producer. I have a team of people and this time we also have UTV who is working with us. The collective decision of 10-11 people. We were also not doing very well as producers. That was at stake. The whole company’s reputation is at stake, we wanted to finish the film in three to four months. Personally, if you ask me, Aishwarya is very professional but I think we were a little saddened by the whole affair and we thought it wasn’t meant to be. It was not superstition, it was a professional decision and even professionally we feel very bad. There’s no two ways about it.”

Reports indicate that Salman Khan, who was dating Aishwarya then, caused a commotion on the set of ‘Chalte Chalte,’ leading to Aishwarya’s replacement by Rani Mukerji. Despite apologies from both Salman and Aishwarya to Shah Rukh, the decision stood. The film proceeded with Rani. ‘Veer-Zaara’ eventually starred Preity Zinta alongside Shah Rukh, with Rani Mukerji also in a key role.