It has been almost a year since Rishi Kapoor, the eternal Bollywood idol, passed away. The actor died on April 30, 2020, after battling cancer for two years. His death left his many fans, friends and colleagues heartbroken. Even today, he is remembered as the golden boy of Hindi cinema, who conquered hearts with his singing, dancing and playing on the big screen. He is also remembered by people for his flawless demeanor which he portrayed very well in his biography Khullam Khulla – Rishi Kapoor Uncensored. He was one of the few people in the industry who wasn’t afraid to openly express his thoughts.
In his memoirs, Kapoor was brutally honest about his personal and professional life. While many actors today prefer not to discuss their personal lives, Rishi has written candidly about his relationship with his wife Neetu Kapoor. He mentioned that she was someone who would “ put up with it ” when he was a difficult husband. At times when he failed in the movies, he blamed his wife. In addition, he refused to work on Yash Chopra’s film Kabhi Kabhie in 1976 because Neetu had a more meaty role than his. He mentioned in his book: “I felt that Neetu had a more important role than me. That’s why I told Yash Chopra, if you want me to do the movie, give me the role of Neetu. Naturally, Yash-ji was confused. Later, Shashi Kapoor stepped in and Rishi made the movie.
For Rishi Kapoor, the reason for the rejection of Kabhie Kabhie was not only Neetu Kapoor. The actor also wrote about a “ lingering problem ” he had with Amitabh Bachchan.
“Coming back to Amitabh, I must admit that this is still a persistent problem I have with Amitabh Bachchan. A big downside to working in an all-star movie at the time was that everyone only wanted to do action movies, which automatically meant the star who could carry out the action with the most talent. would get the meatiest part. So with the exception of Kabhi Kabhie, which was a romantic film, none of the multi-stars in which I played had for me a role supported by the author. And it wasn’t just me. Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna also faced it, ”Rishi Kapoor wrote in Khullam Khulla.
“Amitabh is undeniably a superb actor, immensely talented and, at the time, the number one star running the box office. He was an action hero, the angry young man. So roles were written for him. Although we may have been smaller stars, we were not least actors. Yet the rest of us constantly had to go up against him. We had to work hard, really try to match. In my day, the musical / romantic hero had no place. Amitabh was an action hero in the era of action movies. As such, writers have given him the lion’s share and he has had the author’s roles in almost all of his films. It gave her an edge over the rest of us who had to make our presence felt with whatever we had. But that’s something Amitabh never admitted, in any interview or book. He never gave credit to the actors who worked with him. He has always credited his writers and directors, Salim-Javed, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Yash Chopra and Ramesh Sippy.
Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor have shared the screen in films like Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Naseeb (1981), Coolie (1983) and Ajooba (1991). They reunited after 27 years in the 2018 film 102 Not Out.
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