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Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Confession: He Was Obsessed With Madhuri Dixit and Wanted Her for ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ & ‘Khamoshi’; Says “Waited for 2 And a Half Years at Her Door…”

Renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s profound admiration for his leading ladies is well-documented, with Madhuri Dixit holding a special place in his heart. Despite his ardent desire to work with her in pivotal roles in films like “Khamoshi—The Musical” and “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,” fate had other plans, leading to a narrative of unfulfilled collaboration.

Throughout his illustrious career, Bhansali has garnered critical acclaim for his ability to showcase actresses in mesmerizing avatars on the silver screen. From Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Deepika Padukone, Rani Mukerji to Alia Bhatt, each leading lady has been meticulously crafted into characters of depth and allure under his direction.

The director’s fascination with Madhuri Dixit reached a pinnacle during the making of “Devdas” in 2002, a timeless classic that also starred Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Bhansali’s admiration for Dixit transcended mere professional admiration, manifesting as an obsession that he candidly expressed in numerous interviews.

In a poignant revelation to PTI in 2011, Bhansali confessed, “In my every film, right from Khamoshi, I wanted to direct Madhuri. I am obsessed with her.” Recounting his relentless pursuit of Dixit for pivotal roles in “Khamoshi” and “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,” Bhansali shared an anecdote of waiting for two-and-a-half years at her doorstep in a fervent attempt to present her with scripts, only to be thwarted by circumstances.

Despite his earnest efforts, fate intervened, leading to casting decisions that saw Manisha Koirala in “Khamoshi” and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.” Yet, Bhansali’s determination to collaborate with Dixit remained unwavering, culminating in her iconic portrayal of Chandramukhi in “Devdas.”

Even during the production of “Devdas,” Dixit’s impending marriage did not deter Bhansali’s resolve. He expressed to Dixit his unwavering desire for her to play Chandramukhi, affirming that her personal milestones would not diminish her artistic contributions. Despite the challenges, Bhansali’s persistence paid off, as Dixit eventually graced the silver screen in a role that remains etched in cinematic history.

As the years passed, the longing for a reunion between Bhansali and Dixit lingered, with fans eagerly anticipating their collaboration once more. Despite a hiatus of 22 years since their last collaboration, hope remains alive for a resurgence of their creative partnership in Bhansali’s future projects.

Amidst this anticipation, Bhansali embarks on a new venture with “Heeramandi,” his maiden foray into the realm of OTT platforms. Set against the backdrop of a period drama, the series boasts a stellar ensemble cast including Manisha Koirala, Fardeen Khan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, and Richa Chadha. Scheduled for release on Netflix on May 6, 2024, “Heeramandi” promises to be a compelling addition to Bhansali’s illustrious repertoire, while fans continue to yearn for the day when Madhuri Dixit graces his canvas once again.

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