Raveena Tandon recalls the story of how she came to be cast opposite Salman Khan in her debut film


Actor Raveena Tandon has spoken about how she was cast opposite Salman Khan in 1991’s Patthar Ke Phool, and the series of events that led her to make her acting debut. In an appearance on Kiran Joneja’s online chat show, Raveena said that she never wanted to become an actor, but “when destiny wants something to happen it all happens simultaneously.”

She said that she was working with Prahlad Kakkar as a college student, and had done a few modelling projects for him. She said, “When I was interning with Prahlad Kakkar people used to ask me what was I doing behind the cameras and why I was not acting in front of the cameras. I was a free stand-in model for Genesis, the company, and every time a model would not turn up they’d say, ‘Hey, Raveena ko costume pehna ke khada kar do (Put Raveena in a costume and make her stand there)!’”

She said that on one such day, when she was shooting in Bandra, a friend of her’s called Bunty, ‘who happened to be a friend of Salman’s as well’, called her up and asked her if she was around. He told her to come outside and say hi, because he was in the neighbourhood. When Raveena went out to meet him, she saw that none other than Salman Khan was sitting in the car with Bunty.

Salman, at the time, was looking for ‘a new girl’ to star in a new movie for producer GP Sippy, and her friend told him that he must look at Raveena. She continued, “I said yes, my friends were more excited that I was doing a film with Salman Khan and they said, ‘Iske baad tujhe picture nahi karni toh na bol de par yeh to kar (If you don’t want to do another movie after this it’s fine, but at least do this one).”

In an earlier interview to Mid-Day, Raveena, who is a judge on Nach Baliye 9, had spoken about the episode in which Salman, the show’s producer, had appeared. She said, “He told everyone that he knows me since the last 120 years. There’s a comfort factor with him. We spoke non-stop on the set, but when the episode was telecast, I realised that they had edited out a major chunk due to time constraints. We then told each other, ‘Why did we talk so much?’

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