Divya Dutta On Getting Yash Chopra's Call For 'Veer Zaara', Says, 'I Was Zaara In My Head Already'

Divya Dutta, who played an unforgettable role in Yash Chopra's 'Veer Zaara' remembers the moment she was offered the iconic film.


By Srijony Das Last Updated:


Divya Dutta On Getting Yash Chopra's Call For 'Veer Zaara', Says, 'I Was Zaara In My Head Already'

Divya Dutta is easily counted as one of the most versatile actresses of the film industry, known for her unique portrayals, on-point expressions and beauty. The diva has proven her mettle by being a part of critically acclaimed projects over the years, which includes Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, LOC Kargil, Aaja Nachle, Umrao Jaan, Veer Zaara, The Last Lear, Badlapur, Special 26, Dhaakad among many others.

Divya Dutta recalls Yash Chopra’s call to her to play ‘Shabbo’ in Veer Zaara

In a recent interaction with Bollywood Bubble, Divya Dutta opened up about her role in the film, Veer Zaara. For the unversed, the diva essayed the role of ‘Shabbo’, who was Preity Zinta, a.k.a ‘Zaara’s best friend in the movie. Despite a considerably short screen time, Divya had undoubtedly hit the mark and is still remembered for her performance. Recalling the day when Yash Chopra called her up to offer the role, Divya imagined that she would be given the titular role of ‘Zaara’ to play, and she already imagined it in her head. Adding how it always had been her dream to play a the heroine in a Yash Chopra film, Divya said:

“I had a desire to become a Yash Chopra heroine. Since childhood, I have been daydreaming where I’m wearing Chiffon sarees just like a Yash Chopra heroine. During my auditions, Yash ji was sitting with us, I wished I had worked with him as his heroine. One day, I got a call when I was in London, saying Yash ji and Aditya Chopra wanted to meet me. I came here and met them and they said they were making a film titled Veer Zaara and I was Zaara in my head already.”

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Divya claims she doubted if she would perform well among other stalwart cast of the film

Moving on along the same conversation, Divya Dutta recalled how she was quite shocked when Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra informed her of the stellar star cast of Veer Zaara which they have already locked in. The actress felt doubtful whether she would be able to perform in any way in front of legendary actors like Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta and others. In her words:

“Then he narrated the story and I was mesmerised, it had Shah Rukh Khan and I felt this was it. Shah Rukh and Yash Chopra and Aditya’s writing, I couldn’t have asked for more. They said the film also has Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher. Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Kirron Kher, and Boman Irani. I was like ‘Excuse me, what am I doing here’?”


Divya claims she was apprehensive initially to do a side role in Veer Zaara

Speaking more about her iconic role of ‘Shabbo’ in Veer Zaara, Divya Dutta exclaimed that initially, she wasn’t quite convinced to enact a side character, that too someone who is the friend of the female lead. Explaining the fears which dominated her back then, Divya remarked that she didn’t want to get type-casted into playing side roles. However, it was Aditya Chopra who assured her that by doing the role, she would actually end up being remembered forever. Divya narrated:

“Then he said ‘I want you to do Shabbo’s part who is Zaara’s friend and I didn’t say anything. I thought at that time and even today that if you do a friend’s role, you become typecasted by everyone as the heroine’s friend which I didn’t want. I didn’t say anything. But then Aditya said, ‘If anyone could have done this role then we wouldn’t have come to you’ and it’s a big thing to say. He also said, ‘Mark my words, you will be remembered for this role forever’.”

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Divya Dutta remembers the golden words of her mother for which she ultimately picked up Veer Zaara

In the concluding segment of the interview, Divya Dutta then revealed how actually she got convinced to take up the side role in Veer Zaara. Despite the repeated assurances by Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra, Divya mentioned it was only after a candid chat with her mother that she was able to make up her mind. The star recalled how her mother made her understand that the latter didn’t have a godfather in the industry, who would prepare a custom-made film for her. Therefore, rather than waiting for a lead role to come her way, Divya Dutta’s mother convinced her to take up the role in Veer Zaara and nail it with her performance.


What do you think about Divya Dutta’s revelations?

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