Aishwarya Rai & Shahrukh Khan - Friendship turned sour
Do you guys remember the interview from February this year where Aishwarya said the following?
Vishal (Bhardwaj) came to me with two scripts. I liked one but he wanted to make the other first, which I wasn’t very keen on. That’s when I backed out.
Please tell me which actor in their right mind would say no to THE Vishal Bhardwaj? Even his flops are milestones in actors' careers. So I was puzzled with what made her back out from both the films just because she wasn't keen on one film. Then I came to know that the film he was making first was based on a book called Two States written by Chetan Bhagat. The story revolves around how two people, one from Delhi and one from Tamil Nadu, meet and fall in love. Aishwarya could've been the best choice considering she herself is a South Indian and speaks Tamil fluently. It still didn't strike me as to why she would turn down an author-backed role in a Vishal Bhardwaj film.
Then came the announcement that the lead actor of the film would be Shah Rukh Khan. Then it struck me why Ash turned down the film and suddenly it made a lot of sense.
I think the fact that Shahrukh threw her away from Chalte Chalte and four other films without any explanation hurt her a lot. That move of his would have ruined any other actress' career. But Aishwarya survived it and came back strongly. Please watch this excellent short snippet from her interview with Simi Garewal where she speaks about it. And this was before Shahrukh apologized to Aishwarya for what he did that day.
Shahrukh did apologize to her, but the apology came 6-7 years after the damage had been done. What surprises me (not) is that it came within months after Shahrukh had a spat with Salman. (If you remember, Salman caused ruckus on Chalte Chalte's sets, crashed Ash's car and made it impossible for the shoot to take place. That's when SRK took Salman's side and kicked Ash out of the film without any explanation, and Rani ditched Ash's friendship and took up the same project and rubbed salt on Ash's wound). So, since SRK was not on friendly terms with Salman anymore, he switched sides and apologized to Ash.
Today, she is civil with Shahrukh in public events and other parties, but I think that is the dutiful Bachchan Bahu that is playing her part well, not the Ash we know. Abhishek is friends with SRK and I guess she doesn't want to spoil anything between them, hence she doesn't think much about attending his parties. But one thing that is crystal clear is that she is in no mood to act with him ever again.
It is kind of sad because Aishwarya and Shahrukh had amazing chemistry whether as a brother and sister or lovers or an item song couple. Also, a 100% hit history with films like - Devdas, Mohabbatein and Josh. Or even the superhit item song Ishq Kameena.