Did you know Kareena refused ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ for not getting the same pay as Shah Rukh?
In the glitzy world of Bollywood, stories of casting choices and behind-the-scenes drama often make for intriguing tales. One such story revolves around the iconic film, Kal Ho Naa Ho, which celebrated its 19th anniversary recently. While the film is fondly remembered for its stellar cast, including Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan, it is intriguing to learn that Preity’s role as Naina was initially offered to none other than Kareena Kapoor Khan.
In Karan Johar’s candid confessions within his book An Unsuitable Boy, he unveiled the untold story of why Kareena Kapoor Khan was not part of this cinematic masterpiece. According to the filmmaker, he approached Kareena with the role during the weekend of the release of their film Mujhse Dosti Karoge. However, what followed was an unexpected request from Kareena for a salary on par with Shah Rukh Khan’s. Karan, taken aback, had to decline her demand, saying, “Sorry.”
This financial negotiation, which went awry, left Karan deeply hurt. In his disappointment, he made the difficult decision to cast Preity Zinta instead. The fallout from this incident was significant; Kareena and Karan stopped speaking to each other for nearly a year, even avoiding each other at social gatherings.
Karan shared insights into this strained period, recalling, “For a year, we looked through each other at parties. It was very idiotic. She was a kid; she’s a decade younger than me.” However, fate had other plans for their relationship. In August, just a few months before Kal Ho Naa Ho was set to release, Kareena reached out to Karan. The catalyst for this reconciliation was the news of Yash Johar’s health struggles. She called him and expressed her love, concern, and apologies for not staying in touch. This heartwarming gesture marked the rekindling of their friendship, which continues to thrive today.