Among others, Bollywood’s actor-director duo Sooraj Barjatya and Salman Khan have given a bunch of hit films in the 90s. Though Khan made his debut in 1988, it was Barjatya’s Maine Pyar Kiya, which gave the former his first breakthrough. However, did you know, Sooraj Barjatya was not so impressed with Salman Khan when they met for the script narration of Maine Pyar Kiya?
Sooraj Barjatya recalls being disappointed with first impression of Salman Khan; says, ‘height bhi chhoti thi’
Director Sooraj Barjatya has himself revealed this lesser-known fact. In an interview with Pinkvilla, Barjatya recalled his first meeting with Khan, and how the latter’s height was one of the factors that didn’t make him a hero material. He explained that the team wanted fresh actors, who had no prior baggage and an image to live up to.
“It was pure luck, Salman walked in,” said Barjatya. “First, we thought why would Salim Khan’s son would want to work with us, so I sent a message, and he came. And when he came, he wasn’t looking at all like. Bahut chhote se, bahar reception pe baithe (He was small, sitting at the reception). I said, yeh kya hero aise (What kind of hero is this).”
As he continued, the renowned director further recalled, “He gave me his photographs, and the photos were magical. And he came with the apprehension that ‘main toh mana kar dunga, mujhe dhoti wohti pehna denge (They’ll make me wear rustic outfits)’.”
Elaborating on the same, the filmmaker mentioned that before Maine Pyar Kiya, Rajshri Productions had delivered Geet Gaata Chal, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se, and Nadiya Ke Paar, in which the character of the hero wore rustic clothes. Sharing his piece of mind on the same, he continued saying, “Tab tak humare koi hero ne jeans nahi pehni thi (No hero of ours had even worn a pair of jeans until then).”
While concluding, he asserted, “Toh main suna raha hoon with apprehension, ke yeh bohot chota sa… Height bhi chhoti thi unki (I was narrating the story to him apprehensively, thinking that he is such a short guy), and he’s thinking that he wants to turn it down.” But Salman was sold as the narration continued, and when it was over, he told Barjatya to not cast anyone else in the role.
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