Things would have been different for Kareena Kapoor Khan if she hadn't made her debut with director J. P. Dutta's Refugee opposite Abhishek Bachchan. After reading this, most of you would ask why? Well, let us tell you that Kareena had an opportunity of a lifetime to become an overnight star like Hrithik Roshan. But she was snatched from fate and unfortunately it all came at the hands of her mother Babita.
It so happened that filmmaker Rakesh Roshan wanted to launch Kareena opposite his son Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai which went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters in Bollywood. But Babita's constant interference in direction forced Rakesh Roshan to kick Kareena out of the dream project. Eventually, the role of Sonia went to Ameesha Patel's kitty and she went on to become an overnight star as well.
What went wrong?
Rakesh Roshan, on the very first day of the film's shoot, had realised that Babita was quite adamant about things associated with her daughter Kareena's debut. Roshan wanted to begin with a song sequence and a set was also raised at the Filmistan Studio. However, Babita insisted Roshan to begin with dialogues as she thought Kareena was not yet ready for a song sequence.
Roshan tried to convince her about why shooting a song sequence at the beginning would help Kareena to get familiar with the film's unit. But Babita didn't put her guard down. So just four days before the shooting could begin, Roshan told Babita that they should part ways to avoid clashes cropping up because of creative differences.
"Kareena's mother Babita, who I have a lot of respect for, said, 'Don't begin with a song, she's not ready. Start with dialogues.' I said, 'No Babita, I think a song is better because she'll be very familiar to the whole unit. It'll be much easier. To say a dialogue and to act is a little more difficult than to lip-sync to a song. Of course we will train her,'" Rakesh Roshan told The Quint.
He further added, "Babita was a little adamant about it. So I said, 'This way I cannot work because tomorrow you might say, don't do this, don't do that. I think it's better we part ways because we are good friends.' So we parted ways."
How Ameesha Patel replaced Kareena Kapoor?
Roshan was in jeopardy after Kareena walked out of the film. The filmmaker had already spent 80 per cent of money to build the set and begin the shoot within four days. His manager asked Roshan if he would like to bring down the set but the filmmaker decided to shell out some more money and wait for his film's leading lady.
It was that time when Roshan had attended a wedding wherein he spotted Ameesha Patel with his boarding school friend Amit Patel who turned out to be her father. Seizing the opportunity, Roshan asked Ameesha if she was interested in films. Ameesha told him that she never thought about it but she wouldn't mind stepping into showbiz.
"So I invited her over to our house. I called Ameesha and made both Hrithik and her sit together. I saw that they were a perfect match and they would make for an excellent pair on screen. I told Ameesha 'You are not going back home. You are staying here for three days. Three days into the shooting, I have to get your clothes stitched, narrate the script and coach you'. She stayed with me for three days at our house," Roshan said.
And that's how Ameesha replaced Kareena and her journey in Bollywood began on a thunderous note.