Actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt says that she refused her father, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's romantic musical drama Aashiqui, because of love.
The 43-year-old, who made her debut with the 1989 film Daddy, said that her uncle Mukesh Bhatt offered her a role in the highly-acclaimed 1990 film, but she declined because her boyfriend did not want her to be an actor.
Pooja, who starred in films like Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, Sadak, Sir and Zakhm said, “I had a boyfriend and I was in love with him since I was 12. When I was 16, I started dating him. At 17, I did Daddy, and at 18 I was offered Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin. So he very patiently went through the phase of my first film and said, ‘If you want to marry me, drop movie offers because I'll never marry an actor',” Pooja said at an event when asked why she refused her uncle's offer.
“Being a romantic person, I said I'll do anything for love. Then Mukesh uncle (Bhatt, filmmaker) came to my house with a signing amount for the role, but I refused the offer. He called my father and asked him to make me understand. But I never agreed to do it,” said Pooja, adding, “And then, my relationship ended with that person. He still is a very dear friend of mine though. But then life took over. So now, I think I should have done the film,” she added.
Produced by Mukesh Bhatt, Aashiqui, which starred Rahul Roy, Anu Aggarwal and Deepak Tijori, was both critically as well as commercially successful. A sequel to the film titled Aashiqui 2, with a new theme and directed by Mohit Suri with Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead, was released in 2013.
Meanwhile, Pooja says that she wants to capture all the facets of her father's life in a documentary, as she has seen all his ups and downs. “I'd love to make a documentary on my father Mahesh Bhatt. What is interesting about him is that he became a more interesting personality after he left work. It is a common perception that filmmakers' lives end when they leave film sets, but Bhatt sahab proved it wrong.”