Sharmila Tagore had flatly refused to work with Rajesh Khanna in ‘Aradhana’. She did not want to work with a newcomer actor.
Bollywood’s famous actor Rajesh Khanna had made a tremendous identity in Hindi cinema with his films and his style. Rajesh Khanna made his debut in Hindi cinema with the film ‘Aakhri Khat’, but his film proved to be a flop. After two more films, Rajesh Khanna appeared in ‘Aradhana’, which made Kaka a Bollywood star. Actress Sharmila Tagore appeared in the lead role along with Rajesh Khanna in this film. Although earlier Sharmila Tagore had flatly refused to do this film. Not only this, she did not even want to work with Rajesh Khanna.
According to ’70mm with Rahul’, Shakti Samanta needed a strong name to take the film to the distributor. While on one hand he had cast newcomer Rajesh Khanna as an actor, he wanted to cast Sharmila Tagore as an actress. Although Sharmila Tagore refused to do the film and she had three reasons behind it.
The first reason Sharmila Tagore refused was because she was Bollywood’s top actress. Sharmila Tagore had made tremendous recognition not only in Hindi, but also in Bengali films. In such a situation, she did not want to work with newcomer Rajesh Khanna. The second reason for the actress was that Sharmila Tagore was only 25 years old at the time of the film.
In such a situation, Sharmila Tagore did not want to play the role of Rajesh Khanna’s old mother. The third reason for the actress was that she had done a photoshoot in a bikini a few days ago, due to which she had a different image in the minds of people. In such a situation, she did not want to change that image. However, later Sharmila Tagore agreed to work in ‘Aradhana’.
In one of his interviews, he shared the experience of working with Rajesh Khanna and said, “I have very good memories with him. He was a superb actor. His voice was also very good and he belonged to the theater background. No actor was able to create such craze among people as he had created.