We trace back in time when Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra first met and how their 'dostana' has evolved over the years...
He calls her his 3 am friend, while she turns red even at the mention of his name.
Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra
Few actors have shared the camaraderie Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra do, but it's not a bond that hasn't burnt some bridges along the way.
Twelve years ago, when Shah Rukh Khan crowned Priyanka as Miss India, little did they know that their names would be spelt together, more often than they could have expected. He was her lucky charm, she had said back then.
It was a time when apna Miss World was facing enough trouble from her then-secretary Prakash Jaju who sued her for non-payment of dues. The first time she sought help from Shah Rukh who ensured things would get better and encouraged her to concentrate on her career. She even accompanied him on the Temptations tour back then.
At the Don premiere
After six years, the lady landed a role beside her favourite Bollywood star in Farhan Akhtar's Don. Thanks to his allure and her acting abilities, both would often fall short of words of praise for each other. Priyanka said, "I still cannot believe I'm working with King Khan!" To which he responded, "She's beautiful and the best actress we have today."
This was the year PC apparently found love with Shahid Kapoor while shooting for Kaminey (after breaking up with Harman Baweja of course. Remember him?) The relationship seemed fickle, yet feisty. Not to mention, it was one that good friend SRK approved of. The couple was seen spending time at Khan's Bandra residence many times since then.
By now Chopra's love life was even more unpredictable than the Mumbai weather. Stories about trouble in the PC-Sasha paradise started doing the rounds every few months. The only constant was her affection for SRK. (By this time she had fallen out with Salman. She and Aamir on the other hand have never worked together).
Don and his junglee billi were reunited as they began shooting for the Don sequel in Berlin. Apparently PC just couldn't stop blushing after SRK complimented her at a press conference saying, "Priyanka looked prettier than Berlin." Sweet!
Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan at the KKR IPL match in 2010
In the season's hottest episode of Karan Johar's Koffee with Karan, PC gushed like a teenager when KJo mentioned how close she was to SRK. All poor Sasha could do was provide background score. However we hear that Gauri wasn't too happy with it.
In a surprise twist in the tale this time, it's SRK who went out of the way to announce his fondness for her. At the Screen Awards co-hosted by Khan and Kapoor, SRK asked Shahid, "Is Priyanka your sister?" Ouch!
On the sets of Zor Ka Jhatka
Shahid was well out of her life, and she needed a friend more than ever. PC promoted both her films 7 Khoon Maaf and Don 2 with SRK who was hosting the show Zor Ka Jhatka. He went down on his knees for her and the cameras. "If he was one of the seven husbands in the film, I'd never kill him," she said.
By now their alleged closeness was too serious to be brushed off as a promotional gimmick for Don 2. Every time the media mentioned their 'relationship', she'd get defensive, while he took it lightly. This is when wife Gauri decided to throw an Eid bash.
Priyanka was invited, but apparently ignored. Buzz was that Gauri's friend Mehr Jesia walked up to SRK and confronted him about why Priyanka was part of the party. SRK jumped to came to PC's defense saying she is a friend like most others.
On the sets of Just Dance
They appeared on friend Hrithik Roshan's reality show Just Dance and spent more than quality time together.
Buzz was that by now Gauri and SRKs close friends had started smelling the coffee. Most of them empathised with Mrs Khan. A close friend was quoted in a magazine saying, "Priyanka is at every party that Shah Rukh throws. She's always hovering around him. Of course, Gauri is upset."
Best friends Hrithik Roshan and Arjun Rampal walked out of Dabboo Ratnani's calendar launch the minute SRK entered. A few days ago Priyanka was spotted in his office late in the night.
Over the weekend, SRK and his new best friend hosted an awards function together in Macau.
Excerpts from an interview that SRK and PC gave to HitList in November 2011...
You both have never masked your admiration for each other. In all these years how has the equation changed?
PC: Ever since I remember, I've wanted to grow up and be like him. Perhaps like a female version. He has always been associated with the most important aspects of my life ever since he crowned me Miss World. So he has been instrumental in honing me in a lot of ways.
SRK: Personally, I am quite uncomfortable around actors. I get very conscious. But she makes me feel comfortable. She'll fix my hair if it's out of place. It's nice working with a friend like that. Also she has realised that I am as insecure as anyone else.
At the Drona premiere (2008)
So there's never been a disagreement?
PC: I'd never have the guts to disagree with him...
SRK: Actually a lot of people have told me that. They say you look sweet and all, but it's not easy to dispute you. (Turns to PC) Should I tell them about that time in Malaysia where I was reprimanding you on a scene?
PC: No....but yes, he reprimands me all the time. Just because he knows I can't turn around and say anything back.
Is there something you don't like about her?
SRK: Okay, there's one issue I have with her as an actor. When she finishes a scene she says, 'I killed it.' You don't 'kill' a scene. You 'live' it...
PC: That's just my way of expressing when I finally get it right...
SRK: So use a different word. I'm not saying you show 'kill' is not what you do. You enthuse life into it.
Why have you stayed away from working with other senior superstars like Salman, Aamir, Akshay, Saif?
PC: I've done four films with Salman and Akshay.
SRK: Darling, we've only done Don together. But I would love to do a full-fledged romantic film with her. I also think she'd be great at comedy.
In the last three months much has been written about your growing 'friendship'. It seems like a perfect publicity build-up to the film (Don 2).
PC: You are the ones writing it. You should go and ask your fraternity.
HitList: I can't ask everyone around, so I'm asking you.
SRK: As an actor when you put in long hours of work, and then you have someone who you really love or feel for to share that space, you feel fortunate. What's unfortunate is when people give it a name or a tag. Sometimes friendships or relationships are beyond what people say. So when things out of the ordinary are said, it's not embarrassing to us at least, because we know what it really is.
So why do they say you don't make friends in Bollywood?
SRK: That's a generic line. F*** off if people say so. I'm happy she's around. I can take the advantage of calling her and asking her to do a three-day shoot for me, where all she's doing is hanging from a rope. And she does it for me. She shoots on her birthday. It may be beyond professionalism, but that's what friends do. The process of work becomes beautiful when you share that kind of relationship. I read what's written, think about it, but it won't come in the way of what we feel for each other.