When Sanjay Leela Bhansali felt ‘mesmerized’ by Aishwarya’s eyes

Sanjay Leela Bhansali opens up about his first meeting with Aishwarya Rai at the screening of Raja Hindustani when he felt mesmerized by her eyes. Later, she went onto feature in a couple of his movies, making their collaboration an epic one.

Everyone’s aware of the on-screen magic that Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aishwarya Rai have created over the years. Their onscreen relationship started with the release of Salman Khan starrer, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’.

However, casting Aishwarya wasn’t merely a matter of luck or chance. Sanjay was ‘mesmerized’ by Aishwarya and her ‘eyes’ ever since they met at the screening of Aamir Khan’s, ‘Raja Hindustani’.

The release of their first collaboration in 1999 proved that Aishwarya wasn’t only a beautiful face. Her bond with the director continued as they collaborated on bigger films like ‘Devdas’ and ‘Guzaarish’.

The actor has also been offered the roles in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest, like Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, however she declined both the roles.

Speaking to Filmfare about their first meeting, Sanjay said, “There’s something in her eyes. That’s the most important aspect of her beauty. They are not ‘normal’. They are so powerful that even if you don’t give her dialogue, they emote. Some eyes have devi shakti (power of the goddess). Like Hemaji’s (Malini) eyes. Like Lataji’s (Mangeshkar). Also, her eyes are beautifully coloured and fill up naturally. When I met her for the first time inhi aankhon ka asar huwa tha (these very eyes had affected me deeply). I remember we were at the screening of Raja Hindustani.”

Today, June 18, not only marks 22 years of ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ but also the director-actor collaboration took Indian Cinema to greater heights.


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