By default or design, usually the former, there are certain star teams that have never happened despite the individual actors being in the top reckoning at the same time or in the same era.
The ever-spiraling cast of Bharat now has Tabu signed along with Priyanka Chopra and Disha Patani. This makes for three generations of leading ladies all cast with Salman Khan, and with storylines under wraps, it remains to be seen whether one, more (and which) or all of them will get to romance the hero who is still going strong after starting out in 1988!
Tabu and Salman Khan have never come together as a romantic couple. In Jeet (1996), Tabu was cast opposite Sunny Deol. The film was a silver jubilee hit. In 1999, Tabu was again cast in Biwi No.1 and Hum Saath Saath Hain with others, while Salman’s leading ladies were different.
Finally, Salman’s home production Jai Ho! had them come together again—but not as a romantic team. All this films did decent to big business. If they finally romance each other, it will be a first even for the actress who began her lead career in 1994. On the personal front, they are very good friends.
Tabu has also never been cast opposite Aamir Khan, though she did a cameo in his film Fanaa. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and until now Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha have also never opened their tally with Aamir Khan.
Interestingly, Deepika has never worked even with Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn or Hrithik Roshan; Priyanka with Ajay Devgn (they did Blackmail in which she was cast opposite Suniel Shetty and Ajay with Dia Mirza) and Sonakshi also with Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan. Another actress with whom Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgn have never worked is Anushka Sharma.
Kajol, another ‘90s topper, has never been cast opposite Govinda. The two highly spontaneous actors had been signed together for Vashu Bhagnani’s Junglee, and a hilarious muhurat shot had been canned with the actor, playing a man raised in the jungle, running towards a waiting Kajol and then seen to be actually heading towards a bunch of bananas kept next to her! The film did not go beyond the muhurat stage at Govinda’s peak, and they never came together again.
Govinda has never been cast with Kareena Kapoor Khan, with whose sister Karisma Kapoor he formed a much-repeated and “hit” team in films like Muqabala, Raja Babu, Khud-daar, Coolie No. 1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No.1 and Haseena Maan Jaayegi. Here the reasons appear to be personal from Kareena’s side (as per her suggestive quote in an interview long ago), but we will never know the truth.
But there is nothing personal about the fact that Rani Mukerji and Akshay Kumar never came together. Especially when Akshay’s wife and one-time star Twinkle Khanna has designed Rani’s home. Rani had this grouse in 2008, when she was busy, that no one had cast them together, and it has yet to happen.
And the newer heroines never came together with the older brigade of Sunny Deol and Anil Kapoor either. This time the only combinations that happened were Priyanka Chopra with Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt, and the latter with Kajol.
Such “absent” teams have always been a feature of our cinema. Very often, this resulted in pairings that only happened at the sunset of their careers, like Dilip Kumar romancing Nutan in Karma (1986) and Kanoon Apna Apna (1989), and Nutan and Rajendra Kumar similarly coming together in Saajan Bina Suhagan and Saajan Ki Saheli between 1978 and 1981. Dilip Kumar and Nanda also finally came together only in the 1983 Mazdoor.
Waheeda Rehman and Nanda (good friends in real life) steered clear of Shammi Kapoor in their heydays as they were scared of his terrible reputation! Shammi smilingly chided Waheeda with this and insisted that they walk arm-in-arm during their cameo in the song ‘John Jani Janardhan’ in Naseeb, in which they played themselves! He also worked with Nanda in his brother’s Prem Rog and they also did Ahista Ahista together.Again, this happened well past their starry peaks in the 1980s.
Maybe, we should wait for a decade or more for the missing duos of today to come together! After all, Salman’s journey in Bharat spans 60 years too!