Hema Malini’s biography, Hema Malini: Beyond The Dream Girl, sheds light on how Shah Rukh Khan auditioned for the movie Dil Aashna Hai. The book reveals that Shah Rukh Khan appeared for the audition in a dishevelled look with his hair messed up, which made it difficult to look him in the eye.
Hema Malini revealed that when she first saw Shah Rukh Khan in the audition, she never thought that he could become the star that he is today. In her biography, she also revealed that he did not make the best first impression and she was left dissatisfied. Displeased with his first take, she suggested that they try again. She revealed that during the second round, SRK made a better impression.
According to an excerpt in her book, “Hema remembers how nervous Shah Rukh had been during that first meeting. Apparently, every question of hers was met with a breathless, incoherent reply! The first audition left her dissatisfied. Hema suggested they try again – this time with his hair gelled back and his colourful jacket replaced with a plain tee. The results were satisfactory but just to be doubly sure, Hema called Dharmendra over to come and meet the young actor. Dharam, it is believed, took a liking to the young man instantly.”
Later, in an interview, Shah Rukh Khan revealed that he was an odd-looking boy and that he spoke too fast. He said, “I spoke too fast and I was not from a film background, but they gave me an opportunity. Who gets an opportunity in his life to sit across from the Dream Girl and she says, ‘I like your nose, it’s very aristocratic and you got into my film because of that.’ Vo naak jisko main chhupata phirta tha, vo naak Hema Malini ko pasand hai! (The nose that I went about hiding, that’s the nose Hema Malini likes!).”
The book also recalled that Hema Malini’s guruji had said that Shah Rukh would go a long way and become a phenomenon. This instilled a deep belief in Hema Malini’s mind that Khan would go places. Soon after, Shah Rukh was signing a new film every second day.
Malini recollects, “When she saw his photograph for the first time, she told me that Shah Rukh is a star and he would change the industry. Since then, I knew that something big was going to happen with my movie. The day he signed my film, the same week he had signed four other films, including Deewana, King Uncle (1993) and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994).”