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Did You Know Iman Ali Was the First Choice For ‘Raees’? [Video]

Why did the popular model turn down the role?

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Who remembers the days when Bollywood and Lollywood worked together? It was the time when some most of the Pakistani celebrities got their ‘big break’ as they were offered to work alongside Bollywood superstars. However, due to the usual India-Pakistan hostilities, all of the cross-border collaborations came to a halt.

And with the recent COVID-19 epidemic, it seems very unlikely that we’ll get see any of our local stars invited to Bollywood.

One of the biggest and most talked-about collaboration was the film Raees. It features our megastar Mahira Khan alongside Bollywood royalty Shah Rukh Khan. Although the movie was ‘okay-ish’, there is a little tidbit that fans don’t know about. When it came to selecting a Lollywood starlet to work with SRK, Mahira was not the first choice – it was Iman Ali!

Iman Ali doesn’t need any introduction, she is a pretty well-know Pakistani actress and model. With captivating performances in dramas and films like Khuda Kay Liye, Iman worked hard to become one of the most in-demand ladies in the showbiz industry.

It’s all because of her struggle and dedication to the industry that she became a household. You can say that she paved the way for the likes of Mahira Khan.

Iman Ali recently appeared as a guest on Say It All With Iffat Omar. She shared her personal and professional experiences. During the interview, Iffat asked Iman that if she was offered work with Bollywood hero, Shah Rukh Khan in Raees. To which the model-turn-actress laughed and casually said, “Yes!”


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Iffat, as do we all, wanted to know what the reason was behind her refusal to do the film then? Iman said that when she got the offer, she asked for the script first before saying anything. A sensible decision, but this was an Indian industry offering the role. As we all know, Bollywood has a low opinion about our industry, so it would seem that the director couldn’t fathom the idea of a Pakistani actress asking questions instead of blindly saying ‘yes’.

While on the same topic, Iman said that she believes Allah is the one who will give you respect. Working in a Bollywood movie or with a superstar is not that important.

“Do the work that gives you inner peace, satisfaction, and respect. That’s the most important rule of life.”

Check out the full interview here:


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Written by Sher Alam

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