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25 years of Darr: SRK’s ‘K-k-k-kiran' was inspired by Yash Chopra, says Juhi Chawla

The actress takes a trip down memory lane talking about the film, which also starred Sunny Deol and Anupam Kher.

Keyur Seta

Filmmaker Yash Chopra tried an out-of-the-box, even daring subject with Darr (1993). Starring relative newcomer Shah Rukh Khan with established stars Juhi Chawla and Sunny Deol, the film was about an obsessive lover who goes to dangerous lengths to get the girl he desires. 

The experiment paid rich dividends and the film went on to become a blockbuster. In fact, Darr is considered a bold subject even today, a quarter century later. With the film completing 25 years today (it was released on 24 December 1993), lead actress Juhi Chawla remembered her first project with Yash Raj Films. 

The actress said she had never expected Darr to turn out to be such an iconic film. “When I did Darr, did I even think that 25 years later I will be standing and giving you an interview [about it]? No! I didn’t even know. But [now] that I am here today, I feel so thankful,” Chawla said at an event for her upcoming film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.

The three lead stars from Darr in a still from the film

For Chawla, working with Yash Chopra was the biggest draw. “I thought, ‘My God, I am going to be a Yash Chopra heroine!’ Just there my mind was blown,” she recalled.

But this also scared her. “It’s because I thought I should do so well to look that part and do my best. It just worked out beautifully [in the end],” she said. 

Interestingly, Shah Rukh Khan was the only person known to Chawla on the sets in the initial days. “Shah Rukh was like familiar territory," she said. "I had done Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992) with him. But the rest was a very big and new platform for me. I was happy working also with Sunnyji, who one always looked up to.”

Among other things, Darr is remembered for Shah Rukh Khan’s manner of uttering the name of Chawla’s character, ‘K-k-k-kiran’. The actress revealed that Khan actually improvised the stutter from Yash Chopra's manner of speaking.

“I have to thank Shah Rukh. I also have to thank Yashji because he stuttered a bit. Shah Rukh copied Yashji’s style of speaking and made this his style. The style has stuck with me so much that even today when I go to a function, someone will say, ‘I love you K-k-k-kiran.’ Who knows what clicks and stays!” said the former star with her signature smile.

The famous chase sequence in Darr