Actor reveals that Bollywood superstar was initially offered female lead in his debut film

In an appearance on Life Green Hai discussing his career, actor and singer Haroon Shahid revealed that in his debut movie Verna, the first choice for the female lead, according to director Shoaib Mansoor, had been none other than Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor.


“Shoaib had told me that Kareena would be in it,” recalled Haroon, who had already notched up a number of television dramas under his belt before being offered his first ever film role as Aaami in Verna. Evidently excited about the prospect of working with the international superstar, Haroon easily accepted the offer. Ultimately, however, Haroon’s hopes of collaborating with such a renowned figure were dashed after Kareena was unavailable, allegedly due to her pregnancy with her first child.

“Kareena was supposed to be in the film, but then she was expecting, so she couldn’t do it,” explained Haroon. “So then they brought Mahira into the film.”

Kareena welcomed her first child with fellow Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan in 2016 at a time when Verna would have been in its production phase. With Kareena reportedly unavailable for filming, the lead female role was eventually offered to Mahira Khan, who ended up playing Sara in Verna.

Director Shoaib’s third film, Verna was released in 2017. With Mahira Khan as the female lead after Kareena purportedly turned it down, Verna takes on a dark tone as it charts the ordeal of a woman seeking justice after being raped and abducted, and the toll it takes on her relationships. Whether or not the appearance of a Bollywood star in an otherwise Pakistani production would have afforded the film higher ratings can only be guessed at.

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