Karan Johar’s second directorial venture Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) may have been all about loving the family, but the atmosphere on the sets of the multi-starrer was far from homely and welcoming. At least, not for Hrithik Roshan.
In his memoir An Unsuitable Boy, Karan revealed that Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Kajol were distant with him, and that it was ‘really sad’. The filmmaker said that the hostility on the set had to do with the success of Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai.
With the blockbuster success of Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Hrithik was touted to be the next big thing in Bollywood, and was being compared to Shah Rukh. “It was unfair because he was too junior, and Shah Rukh was already such a big star. But that was a phase when one or two of Shah Rukh’s films had gone wrong and the media had started projecting Hrithik up there,” Karan wrote in his book.
“The negativity that crept in was not justified or correct, and it was really sad. I felt Hrithik was the only one during the course of the shooting who needed a little hand-holding. See, the Bachchans didn’t have that equation with him. Shah Rukh was a bit distant at that time because of everything that was happening. Kajol was Team Shah Rukh,” he added.
Karan felt that Hrithik was a ‘lost child’ during the making of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and tried to make him as comfortable as possible. “I felt I needed to hold his hand a bit. And we developed a really good friendship. We got close to each other— he was a bit of a lost child in this whole lot. And Hrithik, anyway, is slightly awkward around people. He’s not the most people-friendly person. Now he’s become a lot better,” he wrote.
Upon its release in 2001, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham smashed box office records and became one of the most-loved films of all time. The film told the story of the rift in the illustrious Raichand family and their eventual tearful reunion.
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