Actor Juhi Chawla recalled how she and her co-star Aamir Khan had to hustle to spread the word about their film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which served as their first major film in Bollywood. She said that she’d personally go and stick posters of the film behind taxis, and sometimes would be told to buzz off by drivers.
In an interaction with Film Companion, Juhi said that nobody understood QSQT, and that even the crew members who were working on it had no idea what it was about. She said that while there were some billboards of Aamir, a lot of the marketing had to be done in a guerilla manner.
She said, “All of us were unknown. Director also unknown, cinematographer also unknown. We were saying ‘hum’, which really wasn’t the norm at the time. That time, big multi-starrers used to happen. So, apparently, the makeup persons, the hairdressers would discuss kya ban raha hai, and they’d say, ‘Samajh hi nahi aa rahi kya bana rahe hain yeh log’. Anyway, the film gets made and you’re trying to help in promotions.”
She continued, “We were totally unknown. Of course, some hoardings came up… Who is Aamir Khan, the boy next door… At that time, if you remember, they used to stick posters on the back of taxis. So, we’d taken posters from the production office, and where I lived, there used to be long lines of taxis. And we used to go ask them if we could stick our posters on the back of their taxis. Some of them were sweet, they wouldn’t even ask any questions and just tell us to go ahead and stick them. Others would ask, ‘Who are these people?’ And we’d tell them it was us. They’d say, ‘Bhaag jao (go away).”
There’s actually video footage of Aamir going around and spreading the word about the film. The footage also shows Aamir and his co-stars asking auto drivers if they could stick posters on their autos. He said in a voiceover, “Zutshi, me, Mansoor and his sister Nuzhat, we would all get into our cars, get on the road, stop taxis and autos. We would tell them ‘Stick these, our film is coming out soon’. Some would agree to it but others would not. They would ask us which film is it? Who is in it? Who is Aamir Khan? I would tell them I am Aamir Khan. We tried a lot that people would get to know about our movie.”
Directed by Mansoor Khan, QSQT launched both Aamir and Juhi in the film industry. Aamir was last seen in the epic drama Laal Singh Chaddha, while Juhi was seen in the Amazon Prime Video series Hush Hush.