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EXCLUSIVE: 'When Shah Rukh Khan threw Shilpa off the balcony, audience screamed': Abbas-Mustan on Baazigar

Abbas-Mustan are one of the most admired director duos in Bollywood. The duo landed a film with Jeetendra- called Agneekaal after striving hard for two years and that's from where their movie journey started. They have directed many iconic films like Baazigar, Ajnabee Baadshah, Aitraaz, Race and Race 2 among others. In an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla, the filmmakers opened up about their Bollywood journey and spoke in length about how Shah Rukh Khan's role in Baazigar made him an instant sensation among the audiences who watched the film in theatres.

Abbas and Mustan Burmawalla graced Pinkvilla's newest presentation, Cult Creators, which celebrates the contribution of Indian filmmakers to the Indian Film Industry. The duo revealed how Shah Rukh Khan came on board for their film Baazigar after Anil Kapoor initally turned it down since he would not be able to play an anti-hero given the films that he was doing back then. They revealed that an actor named Amrit Patel, who previously worked with Shah Rukh Khan in Fauji, suggested them Shah Rukh Khan's name for the film and also told that he will work passionately and essay his role well. Producer Ratan Jain too showed his eagerness and called him up.

The Khiladi directors revealed how Shah Rukh Khan insisted on a narration by Abbas-Mustan, so that he could know what they wanted from the project. He kept insisting on a narration even when the duo claimed that their narration would not be as effective and powerful. They continued, "After listening, on the spot, he said yes. He said, 'I am doing the film'. Even with our bad narration, SRK was intelligent. He understood what we wanted from the film."

Abbas Mustan recalled watching the film, first day first show in theatres, to gauge the reaction of the audience. They got a reaction that they never expected, particularly when SRK's character threw Shilpa Shetty's character off the balcony. The audience screamed loudly and it was because they were not at all prepared for it. They said, "When Shah Rukh threw her off the balcony, the audience screamed. When he walks off from the crime scene, people started clapping, whistling. We did not expect this kind of a reaction. The reaction was, 'This man is a superstar'. The audience was completely in Shah Rukh Khan's favour." Baazigar turned out to be the turning point of Shah Rukh Khan's career and he went on to grow with films like Darr, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Karan Arjun and Dilwale Dulhania following suit, to establish him as a quintessential hero.

Abbas-Mustan last worked on Abbas' son Mustafa Burmawalla's film Machine, which also starred Kiara Advani. The film was unfortunately a critical and commercial failure. They are now working on an untitled film boasting of an ensemble cast, led by Bobby Deol and Arjun Rampal. As about Shah Rukh Khan, he was last seen in a full fledged role in Zero and will be seen in three films, namely Pathaan, Jawan and Dunki next year.