Rishi Kapoor was never a part of a Madhur Bhandarkar film but he always appreciated the kind of films that the director made. The filmmaker, who’s wishes to work with the ace actor, will always be a dream now opened up exclusively to ETimes about growing up watching Rishi Kapoor’s films and how the late actor will be missed immensely. Excerpts…

Bollywood has lost two of its ace actors –Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor.
It has been absolutely shocking. It has been less than 24 hours and we have seen two big stars and such talented actors pass away. We were just coping with Irrfan Khan’s loss and the next morning we came to know that Rishi Kapoor ji is no more. Both of them had immense contribution in Bollywood.

What will you miss about Rishi Kapoor?
We have grown up watching Rishi ji’s movies. He had been an inspiration to so many generations of actors. ‘Mera Naam Joker’ to ‘Bobby’ then ‘Zehreela Insaan’, ‘Khel Khel Mein’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, all these and more were such brilliant films. He was very versatile in his acting. While people perceived him as the quintessential hero, he tried to do different kinds of roles.

I have always admired the way he used to play musical instruments in his films. Although he did not play them for real, he used to imitate very accurately. Be it, dafli, or a guitar or a mouth organ, he was just bang on.
In the 70s, the demi-God era had so many big stars and even that time he managed to shine. He came up with his own kind of performance. He never imitated anybody. He was very natural and amazing. In the 80s also when we had actors like Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, that time also he did good work. In the 90’s when Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and others came in, Rishi did films like, ‘Deewana’ which was a blockbuster hit. Even after his son came into film, he had a very good innings. He gave some brilliant performances in films like, ‘Agneepath’, ‘Kapoor & Sons’ and others. He will always be immortal through his movies and songs.

Were you in touch with Rishi Kapoor in person or through the phone?
No I wasn’t in touch with him. I had heard that he is doing a film with Deepika Padukone, ‘The Intern’, I was very happy. He had returned from the US after his treatment. I remember meeting him much before the cancer thing in London. We were coincidentally staying at the same hotel so we caught up with each other for a brief time in the lobby. He was always very encouraging. He used to always tell me, ‘Madhur don’t change the style of your filmmaking.’ He used to mockingly say, ‘Ab kiska khulasa kar raha hai tu?’ (Now, who are you going to expose?)

He was witty, funny and always wore his heart on his sleeve. He was someone who called a spade, a spade. We have seen him on Twitter. He was not only active but was very blunt about his views and opinions.

When he came back from New York after his treatment, I was very positive. I felt like Rishi ji was back. He had really put up a brave fight.

You never worked with Rishi Kapoor. Do you regret you will never get a chance now?
I always wanted to work with him and I will have to now live with that regret that I no longer can hope for that to happen. I wanted to write a great, edgy role for him and I know he would have pulled it off just right.

In the past he did a movie called, ‘Khoj’. That movie released and did well. It also starred Naseeruddin Shah, Kimi Katkar and others. It was a thriller movie. Rishi Kapoor played a character with grey shade. The movie went unnoticed. That image of him has stayed with me. I was amused by the fact that a romantic hero can also do grey characters with such ease. Then when I saw him in ‘Agneepath’, I was blown away. He played such a menacing role in it.


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By vinayak