The real reason Kareena Kapoor dropped out of Hrithik Roshan’s Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, chose Refugee instead

Kareena Kapoor Khan made her film debut 20 years ago, alongside Abhishek Bachchan in Refugee. But did you know that her first film was supposed to be Hrithik Roshan-starrer, Kaho Na Pyaar Hai?

In a new interview, reflecting on her 20-year career in the film industry, Kareena spoke to journalist Rajeev Masand about what happened. “Honestly, at that time nobody really calculated and nobody really knew — whether it was my parents, my mother, or me — I don’t know if anybody weighed pros and cons. It was just what I thought was right. There was never really that kind of calculation. I also believe in destiny; what’s meant to happen is going to happen.”

She continued, “Of course, I went on to do so many films with Hrithik after that. We did like four or five films together, and I think that Refugee was just perfect. I got a chance to be slightly non-commercial. I somehow felt that it was more suited for me at that time.” Ameesha Patel was roped in to play the lead opposite Hrithik.

In an interview to The Quint, however, director Rakesh Roshan had said that there were some differences between himself and Kareena’s mother, actor Babita. “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’,” the filmmaker recalled earlier this year.

He 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.”