There is no doubt that Abhishek Bachchan found a place for Bollywood fairly easily due to his father Amitabh Bachchan's immense fame and success. However according to Abhishek himself this did not mean that he faced no challenges at all. In a lengthy post Abhishek Bachchan recalled the time his film Samjhauta Express got shelved. Initially Abhishek was set to make his Bollywood debut alongside Rakesh Omprakash Mehra in the film. Instead Abhishek made his debut with the 2000 film Refugee.
Abhishek shared a short video of his journey in Bollywood on Instagram. He captioned it writing, "Many don't know that in 1998 @rakeyshommehra and I wanted to start our film careers together. Him directing me in a script we both worked on called 'Samjhauta Express'. Both not able to get anyone to launch us despite trying very hard. I forget how many producers and directors I met and requested to give me an opportunity to act. But to no avail! We both were friends and decided that we would develop something that Rakeysh could direct and I would act in and that's how Samjhauta Express was conceived."
"Alas, the film never got made (a regret we still have in our hearts). Rakeysh went on to make Aks with my father and I was luckily spotted by JP saab. He liked my 'look', I had grown my hair long and a beard for SE. JP saab was thinking of making Akhri Mughal (a historical) and was on the lookout for a young fresh face... I got lucky. He never made Akhri Mughal but made Refugee instead," he added.
Years later Abhishek Bachchan collaborated with Rakesh Omprakash Mehra in the 2009 film Delhi 6.