Silsila, directed by Yash Chopra in 1981, is regarded as one of the pioneering films in contemporary Hindi cinema. The film's subject of an extramarital affair was quite scandalous for its time, which drew people's attention, but what drew them even more to the film was its casting – Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, and Rekha. Reports of an alleged affair between Bachchan and Rekha were circulating at the time, which got the audience banter even more.
Yash Chopra revealed in a 2012 interview with Shah Rukh Khan that this was not the film's original cast. Originally, he casted Smita Patil and Parveen Babi alongside Bachchan in the lead roles. Smita was given the role that was later played by Jaya and Parveen in the role that was later played by Rekha. Yashji further quoted, “ I had signed both Smita Patil and Parveen Babi and both of them were to start shooting.”
Meanwhile, Yashji did meet Amitabh in Srinagar, where the actor was filming another role. The actor then requested him if he was delighted with the film's cast. Amitabh pressed the veteran director, who hesitated. Yashji finally admitted that Rekha and Jaya Bachchan were his dream cast. This is what Yashji said to Mr. Bachchan, “ I told him I wanted to cast him, Jayaji and Rekha. He took a long pause and told me that he was fine with the decision but asked me to convince the two actresses.”
The Deewar director approached the two female actors, who, to his surprise, agreed right away. Yashji stated that he spoke with all three of them individually and advised them that he does not want any escapades on his set, and they assured him that the shoot will be trouble-free, which it was.
Yashji went on to say that he had asked one of his attendants to relay his message to Parveen, who was in Kashmir filming another film. When he ran into her at the airport, she was fine with being recast because she believed he should do what is best for his film. Smita Patil, on the other hand, was infuriated because Yashji had asked movie star Shashi Kapoor to deliver his message to her. When Smita expressed her displeasure, Yash humbly apologized for having passed the buck to Shashi Kapoor.
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