“Dilip Kumar, Raaj Kumar have been enemies for 36 years”: what the writer of Subhash Ghai told him before the casting of Saudagar

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The on-screen bonds between the actors are sometimes not as friendly in real life as they seem. The late actor Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar played friends in the 1991 film Saudagar, which ends 30 years after its release today. But, before director Subhash Ghai brought them together for the drama, the two legendary actors disagreed.

For over 30 years, Raaj and Dilip were each other’s sworn enemies. Dilip vowed never to work with Raaj after the latter slapped him too hard while filming a scene for Ramanand Sagar’s comedy-drama Paigham in 1959. Although the scene forced Raaj to slap Dilip in the face, it was such a hard slap that annoyed Dilip. As many in the industry knew about Raaj and Dilip’s animosity, they warned Ghai not to bring them together for Saudagar.

saudagar movie Mukesh Khanna, Raaj Kumar, director Subhash Ghai and Dilip Kumar on the set of Saudagar. (Express archive photo)

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Ghai, however, was adamant about having them both in his movie. “When I finished the script for Saudagar and was about to go to Dilip Ji to tell it, my writer said to me, ‘Do you know that Dilip and Raaj have been enemies for 36 years? ” I was afraid. But I thought we were at least trying. When he agreed to make the film, I told him that Raaj was his co-actor and I ran away from his place, without giving him time to react. I didn’t go to meet myself for the next 5-6 days, ”the filmmaker told Nation Next in a previous interview.

Later, when Ghai went to see Raaj Kumar with the script and asked him who would play the role of his friend, he said to him in a soft tone: “Since I am not in a position to cast a big name, I Thinking of taking Dilip Kumar. “Moments later, Raaj, to Ghai’s surprise, responded by saying,” Jaani, iss duniya mein hum apne baad kissi ko actor maante hain to vo hai Dilip Kumar. This role suits him. (Dear, if I consider anyone to be an actor after me, it’s Dilip Kumar) “.

Delighted with Raaj’s reaction, Ghai went to meet Dilip. To convince the actor to Ram Aur Shyam for Saudagar, he told him what Raaj said about him, and Dilip agreed to make the film. But Ghai thinks he can write a book about what happened on the Saudagar Plates after he fell to the ground.

“Saudagar taught me to deal with selfish actors. I learned the trick of handling actors. You have to treat them like children. When the stars turn, they are like children who have many temper tantrums. So treat them like a mother would treat her various children, ”Ghai explained.

saudagar movie Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar in Saudagar. (Express archive photo)

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To make things right for himself and the Saudagar team, the filmmaker has “ego-massage” Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar. He remembers: “I told Raaj that Dilip Sahab was his fan. To Dilip Sahab, I said Raaj is his fan. Gradually their differences narrowed and they became cordial with each other. The scenes you watch in Saudagar were actually between Dilip Sahab and Raaj and I was like a mediator.

Besides Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar, Saudagar has played names like Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Gulshan Grover, Vivek Mushran, Manisha Koirala, Mukesh Khanna and Jackie Shroff, among others. The clap for the film was given by megastar Amitabh Bachchan to his mahurat in Mumbai.

Saudagar is currently streaming on ZEE5.

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