Karan Johar’s 50th birthday party was notable for bringing together the who’s who of Bollywood under one roof, a situation that wouldn’t normally be possible. Because of this, people who previously had differences (or were in relationships with each other) also crossed paths. But one social media post, by Preity Zinta, was particularly loaded. It featured Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Kareena, Rani, Preity, and Karan are all connected by one film, Kal Ho Naa Ho. Kareena was offered the film initially, but refused to take Karan’s calls. The role eventually went to Preity, who delivered an acclaimed performance. Kareena and Karan fell out for over a year because of this incident. Similarly, Rani was deeply hurt when Karan didn’t approach her with a role in the film, and she had to learn this from somebody else. She admitted that she cried because of what she felt was a personal betrayal.
All these differences were hashed out in a 2004 episode of Koffee with Karan, which featured Kareena and Rani as guests. Karan apologised for how he behaved with Rani, and Kareena expressed regret for not taking up his offer. The host also asked the two actors about their equation with Preity.
Rani said, “It was never a friendship, Karan, to be very honest. We shared a great working relationship. Me and Preity, we gel very well when we work together, especially when we did Chori Chori Chupke Chupke and Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega. That was the time when we both were starting off. Preity and Rani were always put together, I don’t know for what. We did that Piya Piya together.”
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She continued, “I think maybe because me and Preity, we look the same, we both are the same kind of body language and all so we look great together onscreen. When journalists came on the sets, what they saw was that Preity and me were very comfortable on the sets with each other when we were working and I guess that was blown out of proportion in magazines and we were called Siamese twins. We tried to clear out to people that we are not really the best of friends and we don’t go out together but no one was buying that. But that is the fact.”
Karan then showed Kareena and Rani video snippets of Preity talking about the two of them. Preity thanked Kareena for not doing Kal Ho Naa Ho, and accused her of acknowledging her only when Karan is around. About her equation with Rani, she basically repeated what had already been said. But Rani wanted to make a comment nonetheless. She said, “I think Preity talks too much, she should talk less. That’s the only thing I want to tell her through your show. I think she has an opinion about everything. I think she should cut that out.”
Contrary to popular belief, Kal Ho Naa Ho wasn’t directed by Karan, but Nikkhil Advani. The film starred Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan, alongside Jaya Bachchan and others. Koffee with Karan will return with a new season on Disney+ Hotstar soon.