When Mahesh Bhatt revealed he hoped to impress 4-year-old Alia Bhatt with Shah Rukh Khan’s Duplicate


Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt is well known for his hard-hitting and gritty films. In the 90s, his films like Sadak, Sir, and Criminal all received rave reviews. It was during this successful run in the genre of realistic cinema that the filmmaker decided to change course and opted to direct a masala comedy film – Duplicate. In an old interview, the filmmaker revealed he did it in the hopes of impressing a young Alia Bhatt.

Duplicate starred Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, and Sonali Bendre and released in 1998, but could not make much of a splash at the box office. During the making of the film a year prior, a news crew visited the sets to chat with the cast and crew. It was during this visit that Mahesh Bhatt spoke about his reason for switching genres.

Speaking to the Lehren crew, Mahesh said, “It’s a film that I am looking forward to show my children,” implying that his earlier films may have been too violent or dark for kids. The director specified that he was hoping to impress Alia, who was just four at the time. “Children normally don’t get impressed by their parents. The chances are that I might just impress my four-year-old girl Alia by Duplicate,” he said.

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Alia eventually did make an appearance in one of Mahesh Bhatt’s films as a child, when she played the younger version of Preity Zinta’s character in Sangharsh in 1999. The film was produced by Mahesh Bhatt. In 2012, she finally made her Bollywood debut with Student of the Year and over time, has established herself as one of the leading actresses of her age.

Her first film directed by her father Mahesh was Sadak 2, which released in 2020. It was a sequel to Mahesh’s 1991 hit starring Sanjay Dutt and Mahesh’s older daughter Pooja.


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