Shah Rukh Khan has been the ultimate king of romance and Devdas was surely a big highlight of his career. It has been 12 years that the film hit the theatres. In the past, Shah Rukh Khan has spoken about how close he has been to the film. In an interview with Filmmare, SRK said, “Out of all my films which have been screened at festivals worldwide, Devdas has been the most special. I’m a romantic person but I don’t get drunk like the character did. Love has a strange sense of arrogance attached to it. You feel arrogant when you’re truly loved by someone or when you love someone truly. Arrogance of love makes you do things that you normally wouldn’t do. That explains Devdas. The character was a classic hero that symbolised love. I do associate a lot with the feelings of Devdas. Actually, I am a Devdas at heart.”
Shah Rukh Khan put in a lot of efforts to make his character look realistic on the silver screen. Since he had a few scenes as an alcoholic in the movie, SRK tried to give it a realistic touch. According to a report in The Times of India, Shah Rukh used to drink a few pegs before shooting despite of the fact that SRK normally doesn’t drink alcohol. Shah Rukh Khan pulled off an impressive character in Devdas while he was kept company by Jackie Shroff.
In 1955, it was Dilip Kumar who has played the character of Devdas onscreen, in a film directed by Bimal Roy. And with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, SRK was all set to step into Dilip Kumar’s steps. According to a report in DNA, SRK said that he was a fool to try and do the iconic character, reportedly he said, “I was a fool to say I will do Devdas, I feel I shouldn’t have done it. I have a very deep regard for the fact that my parents loved Devdas. I was young and it was very stupid of me to do it. But I had the blessings of Dilip Sahib.”
The leading ladies of Devdas were also caught in a lot of controversies. Madhuri Dixit played the character of Paro in the film, and by then the actress had already tied the knot with Dr Nene. And rumours were rife that Madhuri Dixit was expecting a baby while halfway through shooting the film. However they were only rumours, as Mads was not pregnant. While the other leading lady, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was also rumoured to be caught in an accident on the set. However in the end, the complete outcome was a very hit film coming from ace director Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Jackie Shroff played a vital part in the film. Jackie was seen in the role of Chunnilal, who becomes a good friend and accomplice of Shah Rukh Khan in the movie. According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the role of Chunnilal was initially offered to two other actors, Govinda and Saif Ali Khan. After the two popular actors rejected the film, it was finally Jackie Shroff who agreed to play the part. Jackie sportingly took up the character and was liked for his portrayal.
Devdas, being Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film was made on a large scale. The filmmaker is known to make magnum opus movies, and Devdas too was one of them. He had made lavish sets and splurged to make the movie look grand. According to a report in The Times of India, for the shooting of Devdas, around 700 lightmen and 42 generators were being used, whereas in normal circumstances, 2-3 generators would have been enough. And reportedly because so many generators being dedicated to the shooting of Devdas, marriages in Mumbai were facing trouble with no generators left for them.