India is proud of several Bollywood stars who have made a mark in Hollywood. From Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas to Anupam Kher and Anil Kapoor, the list brings a huge grin on our faces. The star-studded list includes Bollywood’s famous ‘Bad Man’ Gulshan Grover. The actor has been seen in Prisoners of the Sun, Desperate Endeavors and Blind Ambition to name a few movies. But did you know, it was Shah Rukh Khan who pushed the actor into entering the international film industry?
The two actors worked together in Yes Boss when Grover was offered the script of The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo (1997). He was approached to play the role of Baldev in the Hollywood film. With his new memoir titled Bad Man hitting book stores, the actor confessed that he wasn’t sure about taking up the project. It was then that he reached out to SRK and King Khan urged him to take up the project.
“Shah Rukh and I were working in director Aziz Mirza’s movie Yes Boss (1997) and that time, I had got selected for a Hollywood movie The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo (1997) to play the main antagonist. It was the final call for me to come to Hollywood and sign the film. I was in a big dilemma and before turning down the offer, I went to Shah Rukh and made him read the script. He insisted that I should take the first flight to Hollywood,” the actor told Hindustan Times.
But it wasn’t a smooth sail into Hollywood. The actor was brought on board and then got replaced. However, two days into the shoot, the director of the Hollywood flick wasn’t convinced and returned to Grover. “They said that I’ll not be able to deliver. I was replaced by another actor but after shooting for two days with him, the director was not convinced and he only wanted an Indian actor with big eyes to play the role. Finally, I was called back and since then there was no looking back,” Gulshan says.
When he completed one month in Hollywood, he headed back home and the first thing he did was meet director Aziz Mirza. “I thought Aziz sir would be very angry with me and might take a drastic step against me. But to my utter surprise, he didn’t say anything. He was happy that I was back and asked me to resume the shooting,” he recalled. “I owe my Hollywood career to Shah Rukh Khan. He gave wings to my dreams. If he would not have pushed me that night to take the first flight for Hollywood, this would not have happened,” he added.
Although Gulshan was ready to take up the project, he was leaving Yes Boss mid-way and it had him worried. But Shah Rukh assured him that he would take care of things behind Grover. “I was so scared thinking the director would sue me for doing this or cut my salary for making the loss. But Shah Rukh said, ‘Tu ja, agar tereko kisika phone aaya bhi, you come and catch me. I will handle the situation here. You go my friend, sign this film and make us proud,” Gulshan added.