Juhi Chawla’s pregnancy almost stalled THIS film and Amitabh Bachchan’s magnanimous gesture rescued it – Exclusive! – Times of India

It was all sailing smoothly for filmmaker Suneel Darshan on ‘Ek Rishta- The Bond Of Love’ (which had its 21st anniversary yesterday), when he was suddenly stopped in his tracks by Juhi Chawla’s pregnancy. It so happened that Suneel Darshan had just mended fences with Juhi Chawla who had to quit one of his previous films ‘Ajay’, because of her hectic schedule. Post that, all was not well between the two until Juhi’s secretary suggested to Suneel Darshan to cast Juhi as Amitabh Bachchan‘s daughter in ‘Ek Rishta-The Bond Of Love’.

Mr Darshan and Ms Chawla patched up and the set for the first day’s shoot was all ready, when suddenly a week before the shoot the film’s team started to hear that Juhi had trooped off for a holiday. The tension amongst the cast and crew was palpable, when suddenly Juhi’s secretary walked into the set a day or two prior to Day 1 and announced that Juhi was pregnant (with her first child).

The only way that the film could have had Juhi still in it was that they shoot all her scenes with other actors immediately or her baby bump would start showing. Juhi had signed the film 4 months before it was supposed to go on floors.

Suneel Darshan froze and rushed to Akshay who held his ground and told him to not worry. Suneel then raced to Big B, who was shooting Karan Johar’s ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham‘ (‘K3G’). Could Bachchan do something to start shooting with Ms Chawla immediately? Bachchan turned around and told Suneel Darshan that he would finish ‘K3G’ by 7 pm every day thereafter and shoot till 2 am on ‘Ek Rishta- The Bond Of Love’.

Suneel Darshan had no words to thank Amitabh Bachchan for his magnanimous gesture. The filmmaker started rolling with shifts that began at 2 am.

Confirming the chain of events, Suneel Darshan, when contacted, told ETimes, “As a result, we completed the film in 4 months; it was supposed to be shot over a period of 11 months otherwise. If you carefully see the film, Juhi’s baby bump is showing.”

Added Suneel Darshan, “And, towards the end, we had to reduce her presence a bit in one or two scenes. At the post-production time, she had delivered and put on some weight. But that’s okay. It went off very smoothly. She was destined to play that role. Mr Bachchan deserves a special thanks once again.”


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