Saif Ali Khan’s Dil Chahta Hai: Lesser known facts

Dil Chahta Hai (DCH) is considered as a cult classic today. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Preity Zinta in lead roles, the film created a new way of thinking in Bollywood. Revolving around the lives of three friends who go through many transitions and a metamorphosis of sorts, Dil Chahta Hai went to become a blockbuster and became a talking point. Not only that, Farhan Akhtar, who wrote and directed the movie, came into the limelight and became a director to watch out for! As the film completes almost 15 years, here’s a look at some lesser known facts about the movie.

Farhan Akhtar, who made his debut as a director and writer with Dil Chahta Hai, first thought of casting Akshaye Khanna, Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles. While Akshaye was considered to play Aakash originally, Duggu was considered for the role of Siddharth aka Sid and Saif Ali Khan as Sameer. However, according to a report on IMDB, Hrithik turned down the role, which then went to Abhishek Bachchan, who too couldn’t be a part of the film. Farhan then cast Aamir Khan, revised the script of the film and swapped Akshaye Khanna’s role with Aamir. Reportedly, Farhan Akhtar had to convince Dimple Kapadia to play the role of a divorcee Tara Jaiswal.

Farhan seemed to have found the inspiration for DCH from his diary that talked about his trips to Las Vegas, his stint in new York, and a storyline narrated to him by a friend. According to a report on En.wikipedia.org, the characters of Aakash (Aamir Khan) and Shalini (Preity Zinta) seemed to be inspired by one of Farhan’s friends and the other parts by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the report further adds. The film was made at an estimated budget of Rs 140,000,000. According to a report on Specials.rediff.com, Farhan was quoted saying that the Australia portion of the film was intended to be shot in New York but since it would have been winter then, they thought otherwise.

While the male characters when through several changes before the final star cast was decided, the female actresses too went through some juggling before being finalised. As per IMDB reports, Isha Koppikar and not Sonali Kulkarni was the original choice for Pooja’s role. Even actor Shiney Ahuja was considered for the role of Siddharth. Raj Zutshi’s known to be a very close and dear friend to Aamir Khan and the duo have worked together in the past. In Dil Chahta Hai, Zutshi’s character gives the voice over for Dimple Kapadia’s husband when she’s having a conversation with him on the phone.

According to Preity Zinta’s interview in Filmfare, the dimpled beauty was quoted saying that she and Farhan had been party friends for a long time and that they’d promised each other that they would do a film together. Preity even did a screen test with Akshaye Khanna for some other film. Further to reports, Zinta also mentioned that when Farhan was narrating the script of Dil Chahta Hai to her, there was a cockroach in the room and that she ran out and Farhan ran after her and only returned once the cockroach was killed. She also joked with him that he was making a chauvinistic all-boys film. Talking about her shooting experience, Preity stated that thought it was like a picnic, there were no mobile phones, distractions and the schedules finished on time. Preity also had the script of the film a year before shooting for Dil Chahta Hai commenced.

According to a report on Filmfare, Preity shared how during the shoot of the film they would all party but Aamir Khan would not join them. He preferred being in his room and playing chess on the internet. Zinta also managed to drag him once to a disco but Aamir rushed back in half an hour.

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