Dil Hai Chota Sa, Choti Si Asha – it has been years since we saw Madhoo as the carefree Roja in the Mani Ratnam classic but her performance is still fresh in our minds. The actress lost out on the National Award for the Best Actress to Dimple Kapadia (Rudaali) that year, much to the dismay of her fans. The audience loved Madhoo as the carefree, loving, intense and cute Roja. However, did you know that she was not the first choice for the film? It seems Mani Ratnam had approached Aishwarya (not our Bollywood actress), daughter of veteran actress Lakshmi, but it seems her grandmother decided for her, and said no to the film, much against her will. She later said she deeply regretted not being a part of the film.
Not only that. it seems Mani Ratnam’s second choice was Manisha Koirala. The Nepali beauty was bound by a contract though with Subhash Ghai. Later, she did do Bombay with Mani saar, which was another blockbuster. It doesn’t end there as the makers then thought of of casting her Karisma Kapoor as a Kashmiri girl in the film. However, they realized that she was way out of budget for the movie. Roja was made on a shoestring budget and filmed in Tamil Nadu and Manali.
Madhoo, who is Hema Malini’s niece, was reportedly not highly thought of in her acting school. The rejection made her all the more determined. Before joining Bollywood, she underwent a makeover, getting rid of her excess weight, braces et all. Her debut in Phool Aur Kaante was a smashing success. However, it was Roja that endeared her to millions. BollywoodLife wishes Madhoo a very happy birthday, and we hope to see more of her in more movies. Stay tuned to BollywoodLife for more scoops and updates.