When Shah Rukh was ’embarrassed’ about wearing tight clothes at Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, he called it ‘completely absurd shit story’

Shah Rukh Khan disliked the “tight suits” his character Rahul wore in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In the set video for the 1998 blockbuster, SRK is seen talking about his character’s fashion sense in director Karan Johar.

“The most embarrassing moment for me in the film was the costumes I was made to wear, when I play the young man. I think my jeans, my t-shirts, everything is way too tight. I I’m supposed to play college stud in my youth. I have to say and walk and talk and do some things that I’m embarrassed to do,” Shah Rukh said in a BTS video shared by Dharma Productions at the time.

While SRK didn’t like his character’s look, the director Karan Johar felt that Rahul “lacks backbone”. Revisiting the film in 2020, KJo told Mid-Day, “He’s a deeply confused character, he doesn’t know what he wants and, really, he didn’t do much in the film.” Karan added that Rahul did not have a position of his own and did things “because there were people pushing him ‘pointing’ to the spirit of his deceased wife, his eight-year-old daughter and Anjali herself- same”.


Kuch Kuch Hota Hai revolves around its three main characters – Rahul, Anjali and Tina. The romantic drama explores Anjali’s unrequited love and how Rahul’s eight-year-old daughter tries to reunite her father with her college best friend, after her mother Tina passes away.

shah rukh khan with karan johat The Kuch Kuch Hota Hai team celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. (Photo: Express Archives)

At KKHH’s 20th anniversary event in 2018, the superstar recalled his first reaction to Rahul’s character when he received the first draft of the film. “Karan came and told me a completely absurd shitty story; which is definitely not the one you ended up seeing in the movie. In his funny way Karan, the man of many words tried to impress me with his shitty story. So yeah, I really didn’t get the story when I logged in,” he said.

Shah Rukh Khan ultimately did so as he believed in convicting Karan Johar and “didn’t go down in history”, otherwise the movie would never have happened.

Describing a particular scene from the film, where Anjali comes to college dressed in loud clothes and finds her friends, including Rahul and Tina, bursting into laughter, Karan revealed that Shah Rukh struggles to do so. Speaking to Film Companion in 2018, he revealed that Shah Rukh was not comfortable laughing and had a tendency to spoil scenes. So, after many reshoots, when they managed to shoot it, SRK actually performs it with exhaustion.


“Shah Rukh may be the best actor in Bollywood, but ask him to laugh in a scene and he can’t. He really struggles to laugh naturally on screen. So we had many takes to try to make Shah Rukh laugh. In the end, he just laughed out of exhaustion,” Karan revealed.

If looked closely, one can also find Karan’s mother, Hiroo Johar, as a college professor, as well as film choreographer Farah Khan and fashion designer Manish Malhotra sitting on the stairs making pretend to be students.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has become one of Bollywood’s biggest hits, finding a place in pop culture and in the list of college novels that still remains a fan favorite.

Besides Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Anupam Kher, Archana Puran Singh, Farida Jalal and Sana Saeed performed there, with Saman Khan making an appearance. It was also Rani Mukerji’s shot at Bollywood fame.

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