Veteran Bollywood star Sharmila Tagore marked her debut on Karan Johar's popular talk show Koffee With Karan 8 on Thursday, and she was joined by none other than her son, actor Saif Ali Khan, on the couch. During the episode, the actress made some surprising as well as shocking revelations, including the fact that she was diagnosed with cancer.
She made the revelation when Karan shared that Sharmila was the first choice for the role of Alia Bhatt's grandmother in his directorial, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, which released in July 2023. The veteran actress shared that she was diagnosed with cancer and there was also a health scare due to the pandemic, which is why she had to turn down the role.
"This was at the height of COVID. They hadn’t really grappled with COVID at that time. They didn’t know the vaccine… We were not vaccinated. You know, after my cancer. So, they didn’t want me to take that risk," she stated. However, she did not divulge any more details about her cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The role in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani eventually went to actress Shabana Azmi, and KJo stated that while he was delighted to have her in the film, the fact that he could not get Sharmila on board will remain a lifelong regret for him.
Post the conversation, Sharmila also casually dropped a hint to KJo that they might actually work together on a project in the near future, now that she was doing well.
Meanwhile, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of 2023, and Shabana Azmi's kissing scene with Dharmendra became the talk of the town post the film's release.