Sharmila Tagore Discusses Cancer Diagnosis and How It Impacted Her Career

Did you know that Sharmila Tagore was diagnosed with cancer? Well, it looks like she did. On the latest episode of Karan Johar and Sharmila’s Koffee With Karan, she opened up about why she didn’t get a supporting role in the Karan Johar-starrer ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kya Prem Kahaani’. “I was worried about my health at the time,” she said. Karan said he was sorry that he couldn’t work with her in the film, which turned out to be a huge critical and commercial success.

Shabana Azmi ended up getting the role. In the film, she plays Alia Bhatt’s grandmother and has a parallel love story with Dharmendra’s character. “Shabana ji was my first choice for the role. I offered her the role but she couldn’t take it due to health reasons. It’s a shame,” said Karan.

Sharmila said, “At that time, it was at the peak of the coronavirus. We hadn’t really experienced it yet. We hadn’t been vaccinated yet. After my cancer, they didn’t want me to take the risk.” 

“I’m sorry,” Karan said. “I hope we can make it up and work together again.”

This year, Sharmila made her comeback to the film industry by playing a supporting role in Gulmohar on Disney+ Hotstar. The film, which also starred Manoj bajpayee, was based on the popular TV show Monsoon Wedding and focused on a rich family in New Delhi. Sharmila said she was worried about being ‘allowed’ to play a queer character, especially since it had been a long time since she had been in the movies. But she was glad to see how forward-thinking audiences have become, especially in the streaming age.