Aishwarya Rai-Salman Khan Were First Choice For 'Bajirao Mastani', Here's Why She Declined The Offer

While Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone aced their roles in 'Bajirao Mastani', not many know that initially, Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to cast Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai.


By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:

Aishwarya Rai-Salman Khan Were First Choice For 'Bajirao Mastani', Here's Why She Declined The Offer

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial, Bajirao Mastani is one of the most iconic films Bollywood has ever filmed. With a powerful star cast, including Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles, the movie created a stir in the country. While Ranveer and Deepika made our hearts flutter with their chemistry in the film, they were not the first choice to play the lead roles.

When Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai were roped in as the leads for Bajirao Mastani

Reportedly, Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to cast Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles in Bajirao Mastani, after the ex-flame did justice to their roles in the film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, making it a huge hit. However, things went south, and Salman and Aishwarya parted ways after the film's release, refusing to work with each other ever. If reports are to be believed, Salman and Aishwarya's relationship had become so bitter that the duo clearly stated that they didn’t wish to be cast together in any project.

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When Salman Khan introduced Katrina Kaif as 'Mastani' after Aishwarya walked out

However, Salman relentlessly wanted to act in the film, Bajirao Mastani, and was shattered when Aishwarya decided to walk out of the film. So, he suggested Sanjay Leela Bhansali to cast his then-girlfriend, Katrina Kaif, as 'Mastani' instead of Aish. However, the director didn't think that Katrina would do justice to the role and instead decided to shelve the film. Reportedly, Salman even took Katrina to Bhansali's house and said:

“This is your Mastani." 

Bhumika Chawla's saree caught fire during her audition for Bajirao Mastani

Later, Sanjay Leela Bhansali once again revived the film and took Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in the lead roles. Reportedly, Salman recommended Bhumika Chawla’s name for the role of 'Kashi Bai' (later played by Priyanka Chopra), but her saree caught fire with a diya during her screen test, which ended her audition. Finally, the film was released in 2015 with Deepika-Ranveer playing the lead roles. Critics and the audience loved the storyline, plot and characters of the film, making it a huge hit at the box office.

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali took almost 12-13 years to make the film, Bajirao Mastani

Once in a media interaction, Sanjay Leela Bhansali opened up about his magnum opus, Bajirao Mastani, and revealed that it took him almost 12-13 years to make the film. Talking about the same, he shared how everything was already planned, and the film was ready to get released after Devdas, but it got shelved again and again. He added that though he felt extremely disappointed back then, the film was not destined to be made no matter how hard he had tried.

What are your views about Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan acting as 'Mastani' and 'Bajirao' on screen?

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