THROWBACK: When Aishwarya Rai impressed Sanjay Leela Bhansali with her eyes; “That’s the most important aspect of her beauty”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali once opened up about his first meet with his Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The filmmaker recalled meeting her at the premiere of Aamir Khan’s Raja Hindustani and was mesmerised by her eyes.

Aishwarya Rai Sanjay Leela Bhansali Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam 22 Years

The cult-classic, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ clocked 22 years today. Helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the emotional love triangle starred Ajay Devgn (Vanraj), Salman Khan (Sameer) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Nandini). The film is still loved by fans for its outstanding script, music and extraordinary cinematography. Well, Aishwarya and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s on-screen relationship began with the release of this film and continued as they collaborated on Devdas and Guzaarish.

Aishwarya Rai, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first encounter-

However, did you know their first meet took place at the screening of Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor’s Raja Hindustani? Sanjay Leela Bhansali had once shared anecdotes from his and Aishwarya Rai’s first run-in, adding that it was her eyes that mesmerised the director.

Speaking with Filmfare, Bhansali had 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.”

“After the film she came up to me in the lobby, shook hands and said, “Hi! I am Aishwarya Rai. I liked your work in Khamoshi.” Our hands met, our eyes met. I saw a fire in her eyes. Those days I was looking for a girl to play Nandini. I said to myself, ‘Yehi to hai meri Nandini (she is my Nandini)’. People had doubts, whether she would deliver because she had a Miss World image and a Western face. But I thought why not tie her hair in a plait and give her a traditional look?” He added, thus paving the way for her addition to Hum Dil De Chukke Sanam.

On Friday, June 18, the movie completed 22 years of its release. Actor Aishwarya Rai has shared a post on social media, with a couple of unseen pictures from the sets. 22 years of “HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM”💖I am reminded, by such an outpouring of love… but my dearest Sanjay… This one is evergreen… Forever… THANK YOU… and to ALL our audience world over… and my ever LOVING family of well-wishers… THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR LOVE…ALWAYS❤️🥰Much LOVE too 💝✨” She said sharing the pictures.

Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn also shared a dedicated post on the completion of 22 years of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Based on Rashtriyashayar Jhaverchand Meghani’s play Shetal ne Kathe, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam narrates the story of a newly-wed man who discovers that his wife is in love with another man and decides to unite them. 


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