Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

"Babuji ne kaha gaon chhod do, sab ne kaha paro ko chhod do paro ne kaha sharab chhod do... Aaj tumne keh diya haweli chhod do ek din aayega jab woh kahenge, Duniya hi chhod do," is a poignant line from 2002's Devdas, helmed by ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The dialogue resonates deeply, conveying the weight of familial expectations and societal norms. The movie remains a timeless Bollywood classic in which Shah Rukh Khan played the titular role of a literary alcoholic. Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel, Shah Rukh, Madhuri Dixit (Nene) and Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan) shared the screen for the first time in the movie. But, did you know, SRK actually consumed alcohol for the movie?

Devdas is a poignant tale of unrequited love that revolves around Devdas, a man consumed by his love for Paro (Aishwarya) and his descent into alcoholism and despair. Both Aish and Madhuri were flooded with appreciation for their stellar performance and SRK's character portrayal was widely acclaimed. Every actor in the movie including Jackie Shroff, nailed their characters and garnered appreciation from moviegoers. The movie's lavish sets, dazzling costumes, and soul-stirring music contribute to its enduring popularity and status as a cinematic masterpiece.

But, SRK seamlessly playing the famous literary alcoholic's character is something beyond comparison. Throughout the movie, there are several scenes in which the Jawan actor can be seen consuming alcohol. In general, actors often drink prop alcohol, or non-alcoholic drinks in movies that appear like alcoholic beverages, instead of real alcohol. However, SRK opted to drink real alcohol to bring the best while playing Devdas.

In a recent interview on Digital Commentary, SRK's co-star from the movie, Tiku Talsania revealed that the Pathaan actor consumed real alcohol because he believed, it was necessary for the character.

Tiku, who played the character of Dharamdas, said, "We were shooting in the afternoon under the scorching sun and he was taking shots of rum one after another. I said, ‘What are you doing? We have to act.” Shah Rukh responded to Tiku in a Devdas-like manner, saying, “‘Sir acting toh ho jayegi. Aankhon mein sharab dikhti nahi hai na, uska kya (Sir, acting will happen. But the inebriation won’t reflect in my eyes. What about that?).”

Further, he said, That is a fantastic thing. Aankh mein sharab dikhni chahiye na. (Acts a bit drunk) kar lenge par voh aankhon mein nahi dikhegi sharab toh kaise hoga? (You can pretend to be drunk, but if the alcohol doesn’t reflect in his eyes, then how would the scene work?) And for Devdas, not having daaru (alcohol) in his eyes…”

Complimenting SRK, Tiku called him a "genius" who works very hard on his character.

Well, SRK has flawlessly portrayed his characters and turned them lively. Such dedication and commitment to his profession have made him what he is today.