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Know Your Khans

Trivia and fun-facts about the three superstars.

Know Your Khans
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Aamir Khan

  1. Even though he was already married by the time Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak released Aamir kept his status under wraps as his Uncle, producer-director Nasir Husain, felt a married romantic hero might hamper the film's prospects at box-office. In fact, Reena, who was then his wife, can be seen in the song Papa Kehte hain
  2. The only time Aamir used his real name -- Aamir Hussain Khan – for a character was in Raakh (1989).
  3. Although popularly associated with cricket ever since Lagaan (2001), Aamir's first love when it came to sports was tennis. He even represented Maharashtra state at the national level. He's also an avid chess player and is famous for solving the Rubick's Cube in record time.
  4. Amongst the Bollywood superstars Aamir would perhaps be the only one, besides Aishwarya Rai, to endorse both cola giants at different times across his career. Interestingly his maiden commercial for Pepsi featured Aishwarya, who was a popular model then, and later when she became an actress she, too, like Aamir endorsed Coca Cola.
  5. Aamir is also the only one of the three Khans who hasn't worked with either Sridevi or Aishwarya Rai, two of the leading actresses since he debuted. He was to star opposite Sridevi in a Roman Holidayesque project suggested by Mahesh Bhatt but they ended up doing Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991) and Aishwarya Rai was to do Raja Hindustani (1996) and Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) before she walked out of the two projects.

Salman Khan

  1. Before Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) made him a star, Salman was a very popular model. Two of his commercials from the 1980s were Hero Honda CD-100 and Limcacameo.
  2. Salman was the first choice for Baazigar (1993) and when he refused to play a flat-out negative role, the script was tweaked to enhance the mother's character played by Rakhee. In fact, legend has it that it was Salman's father, the iconic screenwriter Salim Khan, who suggested the mother angle. Later even Akshay Kumar refused this role that eventually went to Shahrukh and changed his life.
  3. A fitness freak Salman has been instrumental in getting many actors to hit the gym including Hrithik Roshan.
  4. Although Salman and Aamir are great friends now, the latter found Salman's attitude extremely unprofessional during the making of Andaz Apna Apna (1994) and even vowed to never work with him again.
  5. Salman is said to have been an ace swimmer during his school days.
  6. Before Salman joined the cast of Karan-Arjun (1995) the film was called Kainat and featured Ajay Devgan along with Shah Rukh Khan.

Shah Rukh Khan

  1. It's said that Vivek Mushran and Armaan Kohli passed on Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992), Deepak Chopra refused Chamatkar (1992) but it was the ones that Salman and Aamir – Baazigar and Darr (1993) -- nixed that changed the course of SRK's career. Even the iconic Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was initially offered to Saif Ali Khan who refused it.
  2. While Shah Rukh became a superstar after Darr two of the films that he rejected ended up being the biggest hits of Aamir's career. Rajkumar Hirani had initially imagined Shah Rukh as Rancho in 3 Idiots (2009) and Ashutosh Gowariker had first approached Shah Rukh for Lagaan.
  3. Shah Rukh's first commercial was for a two-wheeler, Hero Puch, and later Aamir endorsed the same brand. Besides cola, two-wheelers is the other connection between the triumvirate when it comes to ads.
  4. Shah Rukh played hockey in school and portrayed a hockey coach in Chak De India! (2007), which was yet another film refused by Salman Khan.
  5. Shah Rukh and Aamir could have featured together in Mansoor Khan's Josh (2000) but Aamir, who was offered the role eventually played by Chandrachur Singh, preferred the character of Max, which was to be played by Shah Rukh.
  6. One of the first heroes to endorse products, Shah Rukh had been associated with over 50 brands since his debut in Deewana (1992)

Gautam Chintamani is the author of the best-selling 'Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna' (HarperCollins, 2014)

(This piece is a web extra and does not appear in the print version)

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